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USA Today posted an article about Military-backed Public Schools and the protesting that is going along with them. Across the country, the branches of the military are partnering with schools to offer ROTC opportunities to students who lack discipline, structure, and long-term goals. Bill McHenry, who runs the Junior ROTC program for the Marines states, “Many kids in our country don’t get a fair shake. Many kids live in war zones. Many kids who are bright and have so much potential and so much to offer, all they need to be given is a chance,” McHenry said. “If you look at stats, what we’re doing now isn’t working.”

According to the article, “The academy would be much like a typical high school, except students would wear ROTC uniforms and start each day with a military formation and inspection. Besides Spanish club and debate team, students can sign up for military drill team and color guard. The school’s principal likely will be a retired Marine.” Critics of this state that the military is using public schools as breeding grounds for the proliferation of our military, while proponents state that it is an avenue that students can pursue that is normally not available.

I say why not? Schools all over the country are starting academies that allow students to earn college credit and workforce experience  to prepare them for life after high school. Why shouldn’t the military be an option as well. To deny students opportunities because their are folks who disagree with the ideology is ludicrous.  I disagree with corporations trying to take over schools and run them like a business, but I am not going to begrudge students an opportunity to learn about business and finance. When I read this article, I didn’t think about how I disgree with the war in Iraq, but rather, I thought about a great opportunity for students to explore a possible career interest that will allow them to travel the world. I thought about the movie A Few Good Men in the memorable courtroom scene when Jack Nicholson tells Tom Cruise, “That although my existence may disgust you, you need me on that wall.” You don’t have to like the military, but they are a needed entity for our country and to deny students an opportunity to explore the armed services is doing our country more harm than good.


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