Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, March 10, 2008

Youth and the Military

Church groups pride themselves on having vigorous youth programs, ski weekends, spiritual retreats, fun and dances. My eldest granddaughter loves the Bishop Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center in her diocese. I am delighted that she has that important church connection.

I do wonder about what teaching goes on in today’s youth work about the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I am sure it is a delicate issue with the strong polarizing positions held by many parents.

I suggest that teens should visit in groups a nearby Veteran’s Hospital. They could bring food and sweets for the wounded. They could sing and put on plays and skits for the recovering soldiers.

Let the young people of our churches see young men and women blind for life. Let them talk with a service man whose arms have been blown off. Let them chat with a young woman whose face is horribly scarred for life because she was burned when her truck exploded.

I suggest discussions about serving in the military and the righteousness of war would take on a whole new dimension.

On another but similar note: There has been much in the news lately about citizens protesting recruiting offices on campuses. People do want trained military recruiters working on the minds of young men and women about patriotism, love of country, fighting for freedom and benefits provided after one’s enlistment is up.

Marine recruiters should be required to take prospective enlistees to a Veteran's Hospital. Let the gung-ho young men and women see wounded soldiers, blind, no arms, no legs and disfigured by burns.
Then if the young people want to enlist let them. Recruitment offices could then be set up wherever the military wants.

I hope any young men and women thinking of the military should take such a trip.

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