Saturday, April 16, 2005

Boy Soldiers: "Colin Hadley spends most of his days after school skateboarding or playing Halo II on his new X-Box with friends. He sleeps until noon or later on weekends and rarely, if ever, does any schoolwork outside the classroom, where he pulls down solid C's and a few D's - just enough to get by. He's the typical 15-year-old American boy: cocksure in demeanor, certain the world revolves around him, and confident that life is going to serve him well.

"And he's the new 'target of interest' for U.S. military recruiters who've begun signing up boys as young as 14 for military service, which they will be required to begin when they turn 18. 'It's a sweet deal,' says Hadley, who boasts that he bought his X-Box with the enlistment bonus he received after signing up last month. 'I don't have to do hardly anything for three years, but they're paying me now.'"

"Once these kids sign up under this program, they are committed to serving in a combat zone and face strict punishment if they refuse duty when they come of age. If any refuse to show up for duty they will be charged with desertion in a time of war and be subject to military court martial, which, theoretically at least, could result in the death penalty."

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