Arcata and Eureka Measures F and J will protect vulnerable adolescents from high-powered sales pitches by the military (“Arms and the Child,” Oct. 9).

If people this age are not considered legally able to sign contracts or drink, why should they be considered to have the judgment to deal with the military? We’ve outlawed cigarette advertising targeted to youth (and yet still allow soft drink advertising targeted to them) because of the potential health risk. Isn’t it right we do the same with recruiting for deadly battle?

It’s a matter of protecting vulnerable youth with still-developing judgment from being drawn in to life-threatening commitment.

— John Emig, Arcata



Measures F and J do not stop recruiters from recruiting young adults (key words: “young adults”). 

What it does is prohibit military recruiters from initiating contact with youth under the age of 18 for the purpose of recruiting. Let me tell you why this is necessary.

When I was 16, I was waiting for my mom to pick me up from work in Eureka. A car pulled up in front of me; two men in uniforms rolled down their window and asked me, “Why are you working here?” Frightened by their approach, I quickly stated, ” because I like to work here.” While moving closer to me, these men in military uniforms continued asking about my job. Confused, I asked, “Why are you asking about my job?” Should this obtrusive way of approaching a young adult ever be allowed?

While a Eureka High senior, in a class of mostly 17-year-olds, a recruiter spoke to our Economics class. She glorified the monetary and educational benefits, overlooking the possibility of never being able to use them. When I asked to invite Veterans for Peace to speak as a counterpoint, the instructor stated, “I wouldn’t be interested in something like that.” Shouldn’t schools allow access to all information?

I’m sure I’m not the only youth who’s been approached by recruiters. I encourage my peers to speak out against recruiters’ predatory behavior.

Speak up for the youth in our community. Vote Yes on Measures F and J.

— Ashley Samuels, Arcata

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