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Saturday, March 07, 2009


Went to a pancake breakfast at my alma mater. Held by the ROTC cadets, apparently to raise funds for teenagers ready to throw their lives away shaving their heads and living on a boat with a bunch of guys. Which I guess I can understand the chicks' motivation, but what is wrong with these dudes?

And, as the Village People made perfectly clear with In the Navy, this might be an adventure for some young men — unless they admit why they want the job. Then they get kicked out of the club.

Gay navy jokes aside, something about ROTC still makes me uncomfortable. It's not so much that I'm anti-military, I'm mainly only anti-me-being-in-the-military. And volunteers made it possible for me to not join, so that's all well and good.

I think what bothers me about it is I doubt any high school aged kid has the maturity to put it in context. If I told you I was training young men to rape women, but only women who were advancing another country's hostile aims and only when ordered to rape, would you think it was okay to tap a 15 year old for the gig? Any better if we only raped blow-up dolls the way we have ROTC drilling with non-functional rifles? How is it more acceptable if you're prepping someone for homicide, maybe even mass murder?

Because necessary as it may be, that is what it means to be a soldier: you will kill or blow up whatever your commander tells you to in good faith that it's essential to national security.

And then, too, a core function of military training is to break down the individual, make them one of a unit, subordinate to the team. To get someone into that sort of thing when they are still trying to learn how to relate to the world as an individual, I'm not down with that.

So why, I hear you ask, did I take my kids to a pancake breakfast fundraiser for an organization I consider dubious at best? Free tickets, that's why. I didn't even realize it was a fundraiser for the cadets until we were there.

Most of the cadets had Navy sweatshirts on, which makes me wonder if North's ROTC is specifically a naval ROTC program. Or mostly, I saw a couple of Marine t-shirts with the nonsense on the back about how pain is just weakness leaving the body.

Newsflash for you jarheads and jarhead wannabes: pain is the body's way of screaming, 'Asshole! Don't do that again. Ever!'

After, at my Mom's house, Em decided to try and work off the pancakes on the exerbike.

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