Youth Football League A Venue for Army Recruiters | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Youth Football League A Venue for Army Recruiters

Play associated audio

It's Pop Warner Football season in D.C. but the popular youth games are also a venue for military recruiters. The U.S. Army is a major sponsor of the games, in which 5- to 15-year olds play for division teams leading to a youth Superbowl.

D.C. Parks and Recreation oversees the games. Department officials say the relationship with the Army is about physical fitness and fighting child obesity. But not everyone is happy with the arrangement.

"You don't need the military to have a football game," says John Judge, an activist with Choices, a local outreach group of veterans who talk to kids in D.C. public and charter high schools about career choices besides the military.

"And even though they're technically not recruiting them they're getting to young people at an age when they shouldn't be having to consider these things."

Judge says public schools are easy pickings for military recruiters. The No Child Left Behind Act, for example, requires federally funded schools to release student information to the military. They use it to recruit children into programs like Junior ROTC or teens into the armed services.

But on opening day of the games at Anacostia High School many parents were pleased that the Army was involved.

"I like that the army have come out and give the kids a chance to maybe do something else with themselves besides play football," says one mother.

"Yeah, that's not gonna guarantee that they're gonna join the army," says another.

"Some kids, that's an opportunity for them," says a young father. "A lot of these kids will never get the opportunity again to do anything."

The D.C. Pop Warner games continue every weekend through October 17.

Mana Rabiee reports...

NPR

The Other Rock History

What makes an essential rock song? Musicologist Greil Marcus argues that it's not the stature of the performer, but the degree to which a song tells the story of rock 'n' roll itself.
NPR

Can Oxfam Nudge Big Food Companies To Do Right?

Oxfam is scoring the 10 biggest food companies on a scale of 1 to 10 on a host of issues, from worker rights to climate change. But will promises translate into concrete changes?
NPR

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

The Texas governor is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official, but he claims he was just doing what governors do: Vetoing a budget item.
NPR

New GoPro Camera Harness Captures Dog's-Eye View

This past week, the camera maker GoPro unveiled the Fetch harness, which allows people to attach the durable cameras to their dogs. The company was inspired by some DIY efforts at pet videography.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.