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Military Families Speak Out About Recruiting Practices; Families Say ’Examine the Real Problem -- Call for A Stand-Down on the War in Iraq’


News Advisory:

On Friday, May 20, the Army is holding a one-day nationwide halt to recruiting, to allow reflection on proper recruiting practices and on how to ensure recruiters are using ethical methods of recruiting. Military families with loved ones who have been recruited, and who have served or are serving in Iraq, or who have died as a result of the war in Iraq, say the Army’s public relations activities of May 20 will not solve the problem of illegal, immoral and unethical recruiting practices. The fundamental problem is that recruiters are required to sign up new recruits for an illegal, immoral and unethical war that is itself based on lies. The Army’s ’stand-down’ will focus attention on a ’few bad apple’ recruiters and, if anything, a need for ’more training.’ But recruiters have been given the job of selling a bad product, and are being placed under intense pressure to increase their sales. Bad recruiting practices are the inevitable result. Instead of playing PR games, Military Families Speak Out calls on the Army, the other branches of the military, the Bush Administration and Congress to call a stand- down on the war.

The following Military Family members who can speak about recruitment practices are available for interview:

-- Kathy Allwein of Lebanon, Pa., whose son was told that his student loans would be paid after he enlisted. After two and a half years in the military and a tour in Iraq, he is being told that the loans are not eligible for repayment.

-- Teresa Dawson of Gahanna, Ohio whose son is in Iraq and daughter is in the Ohio National Guard.

-- Linda Englund of Chicago, Ill. whose son, is a Specialist in the Army and was wounded in Iraq.

-- Pat Gunn of Lansdowne, Pa. whose son Jason was severely wounded in Iraq.

-- Lorraine Johnson of Lawrenceville, Ga. whose fiancé is currently serving in the Army in Iraq.

-- Mindy Phillips Lawrence of Farmington, Mo., whose son is a Sergeant in the Army, was asked to make up diplomas for perspective recruits.

-- Lou Plummer of Fayetteville, N.C. Lou’s son, who recently separated from the Navy, was coached by recruiters on how to answer questions. Lou’s 18-year-old daughter and 43 year old wife have both been contacted recently by recruiters.

-- Rosemary Palmer of Cleveland, Ohio, whose son is in the Marines and is currently serving in Iraq.

-- Jeri Reed of Norman, Okla. whose son served in the Army in Iraq.

-- Terri Riley of Alburquerque, N.M. whose son serves in the Army Reserves.

-- Anne Roesler of Saratoga, Calif. whose son, a Staff Sergeant in the Army served two full deployments in Iraq.

-- Nancy Robinson of Richmond, Vt. whose son served in Iraq with the Vermont Army National Guard.

-- Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, Calif. whose son Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, age 24, was killed in action in Sadr City on April 4, 2004.

-- Tia Steele of Baltimore, Md. Tia’s stepson David Michael Branning was killed in action in Fallujah on Nov. 12, 2004.

-- Fernando Suarez of Escondido, Calif. whose son was one of the first U.S. servicemen killed during the invasion of Iraq.

-- Tricia Turner of Spokane, Wash. whose son is currently serving in the Marines Corps.

-- Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson of Boston, Mass. who are co-founders of Military Families Speak Out and whose son served in the Marines in Iraq during the spring of 2003.


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