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

Church Of Scientology Calls New HBO Documentary 'Bigoted'

The filmmaker says Going Clear, harshly critical of the Church of Scientology, is about the dangers of "blind faith." The church has hit back with an aggressive public relations effort of its own.
NPR

Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again

Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl takes off her glasses to reveal she was a beauty all along? A similar scenario is playing out among food waste fighters in the world of produce.
NPR

Amazingly, Congress Actually Got Something Done

The leaders and members must, in a word, compromise. And on this occasion, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did just that, with skill and savvy.
NPR

Can Republicans Get Ahead In The 2016 Digital Race?

When Sen. Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, it happened first on Twitter. Political news is breaking more and more on social media, and both sides face different challenges in reaching out.

Leave a Comment

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