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They Smile As They Lie To The Kids
Author: Shiloh

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It's sad...
I see it every day in the paper...
Little Johnny, or Little Michael,
and even Little Mary...
'just completed basic training'
at some military training base,
'and will now go on to advanced training,
and will learn how to become the victim
of a roadside bomb...
I blame the recruiters -
they lie for a living.
I know - I was a recruiter, once.
For the Army.
But I was an altruistic recruiter,
and I never met my quota,
so they booted me from the job,
and I went back to being just another GI.
You see, I had a hard time telling the kids
all the lines we were told to tell them,
all the crap that their young hearts and minds
were (and still are) fed,
about how noble and grand and patriotic
and stupid....
their decision to join any active military service is
today - especially today...
Unless, of course, they really have a strong desire
to die because of a roadside bomb
that will make them stop breathing
about 60 or 65 years earlier than they would otherwise.
I really was not able to lie to the kids
and pass a mirror without flinching.
So, when they asked me about training and schools,
and I found out they were interested in certain things,
I would send them to the Air Force or the Navy;
a bit safer, and the schools were a lot better, anyway.
I never made my quota,
but I had seen what Vietnam was like,
and they deserved better than that...
and I hope to hell that I saved a few lives that way.

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