Now that just about everyone agrees we need to expand the Army and the Marines, the New York Times explains that we’ll fill the ranks with homeless veterans:
A 39-year-old woman who once worked as a chemical specialist in the Army found herself down and out and living in a women’s shelter, he said. The Army came calling one more time, and she re-enlisted. Now, the woman is back in uniform at her previous job, serving in South Korea.
In other words, the very people we’ve already exploited and used up and failed to support afterwards will return to military life because now they’re “down and out.” The widening gap between rich and poor thus serves a strategic purpose; it ensures a supply of cannon fodder. But don’t worry too much: “The Army also raised recruits’ maximum allowable age to 42 from 35 and accepted a larger percentage of applicants who scored at the lowest acceptable range on a standardized aptitude examination.” These are people who don’t matter. We can use them up and exploit them some more and turn them out on the streets with no prospects when they’re even older.
Appeals to the sense of personal growth, and patriotism remain a dominant part of the recruiting pitch for the Army and the Marines. In advertisements and at sporting events, recruiters now emphasize intangibles, like the camaraderie of combat, at least as much as the financial incentives like extra money for college.
Let’s see now, how did that bumper sticker go? Something about adventure and seeing the world and seeing foreign people… and killing them? 655,000 Iraqis at last count, and that’s what we call personal growth.