Monday, January 14, 2008

Way To Go, Marines! Semper Fi!

I can't tell you how pleased I am to read reports like this.

It seems that the US Marine Corps, through a 'junior military reserve program', is organizing highly disciplined schooling for teenagers in troubled areas. An article discusses the program at the Marine Military Math and Science Academy in Chicago, which is described as 'the first public Marine academy in the nation'.

I'm seething, though, at the idiotic comments of opponents of the program. One Oscar Castro, speaking for the 'National Youth and Militarism Program' (whatever that may be) complains: "To call these young people child soldiers might be technically inaccurate, but it does reveal the truth of it." Oh, bullshit, Mr. Castro! Do you understand your own words? You've just said that it's inaccurate to call them 'child soldiers', and then - in so many words - called them precisely that! Ever heard of 'logic' or 'reason' or 'common sense'? I thought not . . .

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. A quick Web search reveals a groundswell of opposition to such 'military schools', all of it from what I'd call moonbat left-wing lunatics. They uniformly display opposition to anything I'd consider common sense and knee-jerk approval of all the elements of public education that have so miserably failed our students, particularly in impoverished and crime-ridden areas.

Let me tell you something, Mr. Castro. I was as idiotic, self-centered and selfish a teenager as anyone else. (For those teens reading this who might think they're not that way, it's possible, but if so you'll be the exception that proves the rule. If we're honest, all of us who've left our teens behind us will admit that we were that way to at least some extent.) When I went into the military at age 17, I was a boy. I came out of it a man. I learned the hard way things such as respect for my fellow servicemen and -women, discipline (both self and unit), fitness, co-operation and a host of other really valuable life lessons. It made me a far better person than I'd have been without it. Combat service does that in spades, even more than barrack service.

I served in the armed forces of another nation, but had the great privilege of working with some former US Marines there. They were uniformly outstanding soldiers - no, more than that: warriors - who took pride in their work and taught us to do the same. It's my loss that I've never had the opportunity to be a Marine, but I have the highest possible respect for them. If they can impart some of the Marine Corps ethos to troubled youth, and help them to learn the lessons about life that all Marines must learn, then more power to them!

I wish I'd had the opportunity to go through such a program in school myself. I hope they spread far and wide across this nation. I think they're exactly what our troubled education system needs. Thank you, Marines! If I ever meet any of you engaged in such incredibly valuable and useful work, the beers are on me (after school hours, of course!).



Anonymous said...

Peter, this is really SCARY! WHAT IF THOSE KIDS LEARN TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES? What if they become responsible independent citizens? Did 'ya ever think of that ? Huh? Those are kids we will never be able to suck into a welfare state! Oh NO!

Anonymous said...

By the time troubled youth reach teen years, they've been "programmed" into a loser psychology. Armed forces training is a form of "reprogramming" which can potentially break the kids out of their programmed destructiveness toward themselves and others.

It is "strong medicine" that may be the only effective way to pull most of these kids out of their crash and burn trajectory.

It is not for everybody, but it's not being offered to everybody. The thing is not to convince Castro and his kind that it is a good program. Then thing is to get it done regardless of what people like Castro try to do to stop it.