Teenage kids are being increasingly targeted as cannon fodder by aggressive recruitment drives by the Department of Defense. Are these children wise to the ways of the world? Hell, no way. Ethnic minorities and working-class whites are undoubtedly in the bull's eye - the military is sold to them as an attractive and even glamorous mode of employment that's way more exciting than flipping hamburgers or punching cash registers, in an employment world where institutionalized racism still hangs on... (please excuse the hint of rhetoric there). Many of these kids really do believe the recruitment hype... including the one about "proudly fighting for America in the name of freedom and justice". I have no bother with that concept at all, if were real and sincere, that is, when it refers to an occasion when America gets genuinely attacked. (Of course I hope none of us here will ever see that happen).
Will we ever see the Department of Defense truly live up to its name? The last two times America was attacked, Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we weren't exactly defended... (on 9/11, the USAF was deliberately stood down by Pentagon brass ?!!) .... and the other numerous wars over the last 60 years in which we have gotten into have had little, at best, to do with "defending America and liberty". The Iraq war, for example, is a particularly egregious example of how our troops have been betrayed by their government, and used as a private security force in the service of big business, and for promoting a political doctrine, which has nothing to do with the notion of "fighting for our country".