Most students grapple with the idea of what to do after high school. A select few are fortunate enough to receive scholarships to a university, some will attend school with the help of a college fund set up by their parents, while others will have to rely on student loans and financial aid. Then we have those who are either not ready to continue their education or just don’t have the guidance to assist them in furthering their education. For the undecided an invasion of the military recruiters at your local high school campus is a welcome siege filled with information and career choices for the students who are not sure what is next after graduation.
When the military recruiters show up for career days to speak with the students, they are making them aware of an opportunity not only to further their education but also to gain some valuable career training, life experience and forge friendships that may last a lifetime. I was one of those students who was not ready to go to college after high school, but knew that once I graduated I had to leave my parents’ house. Education was number one in my parents house and as other students were applying to college, I was beginning my pre-military training with the Marine Corps.
The military was not a way for me to get out of the house, it was an experience of a lifetime. I will never regret joining the Marine Corps, because I was not one of those students that was ready to continue my education at a community college or university, and my father was very strict about the conditions under which you were able to stay under his roof after graduation from high school. I am grateful that my school had the recruiters come and speak to the student body in our small town of Farmville, VA, because I truly did not know what I was going to do after high school. Even today, there are still students that are not sure what they are going to do after high school and if not for the opportunity to meet with a military recruiter, they would never be exposed to the option of receiving career training as well as access to funding to further their education when they choose to.
I do not see a recruiter’s presence on our high school campuses as an invasion nor an unwanted presence. Those students who would not otherwise have ever considered joining the military and really had no plans after high school, benefit from learning what the military has to offer in terms of career training and education. Of course the military is not for everyone, but for those who do join and enjoy their time, that presence of the recruiter on their campus was worthwhile. I am proud to say that my experience in the Marine Corps is due to my meeting with a recruiter at my high school and his explanation of what careers they had to offer and money available for college. As a veteran I do not encourage everyone to join the military but I will say that it is a worthwhile opportunity for those who are willing.
For those schools that are not willing to allow recruiters unto their campuses, I assume this is because their focus is on assisting 100% of their graduating class in furthering their education or choosing a career path after high school. If they perhaps do not have this in mind and only wish to keep a military presence off their campus, then they are not taking into consideration the role of our constitution in education and how freedom of speech could be infringed upon in this case. Either way, education insures availablity of knowledge and information to help our youth in making informed decisions, which includes whether or not to join the military.