U.S. Army: From 'One' To 'Strong'

"The Army spends more than $200 million annually on marketing -- the biggest ad contract in the federal government," notes Advertising Age. Ten months after winning the U.S. Army's main advertising contract, the McCann Worldgroup firm announced the theme of its first campaign: strength. "There's strong, and then there's Army strong," explained a video from the firm. "There is nothing on this green earth that is stronger than the U.S. Army." Like other recruiting efforts, the Army's "strong" campaign "was developed to specifically address not just those considering an Army career, but family members and friends of potential recruits. Since the start of the Iraq war, the U.S. military's advertising increasingly has focused on convincing parents and peers that the choice of the military career is a good one." The "strong" TV ads will start airing November 9; print ads will run in 2007.


It was reported that the military has raised the signing bonus for military recruits to up to $40,000. At a Congressional hearing last year, Economics guru Greenspan related that 10% of Americans own 70% of all American wealth, and that 56% of all Americans make $50,000 a year or less. I am not a gambling person, but I would wager that there are very, very, very, very, very few people, if ANY at all, in the richest 10% of the American public that would even consider serving in the military for a lousy 40 grand. (a rare exception was pro footballer Tillman) Those who make about $50,000 a year or more tend to value their lives and/or limbs more than the 80% of their annual salary they could get from the military. So then, who will fight this Republican war? Those who were living in poverty when George W Bush took office, plus another 4 to 5 million more who have since been added to the rolls of those living in poverty. Look to the east and west sides of San Antonio. Look to poor Hispanics who live in the Valley, along with the poor Hispanics all along the US/Mexican border. Look to the poor blacks in the south, and in the urban areas across our country. But don't stop there. The poor whites across the land are being beckoned as well. This administration is prejudiced against ALL colors, if they don't have the GREEN. People of means won't understand, but if you are a father or mother who has watched their children cry from hunger, $40,000 represents more than you may be able to offer your children for some two years of work. What parent would not sacrifice for his or her children. I know that I would happily give my life for any of my children. I thank God I survived Vietnam and Desert Storm, and I thank the Army for the opportunities it has afforded this John F Kennedy High School( a west side school in San Antonio) graduate. I served my country, with pride for more than 20 years, and retired from active service in 1995. I am a proud American, but I am not proud of this administration. I did not join the service at age 17 because I was super patriotic and wanted to defend my country. I joined because my parents could not afford to send me to college, and I realized at a young age that education was a very important ingredient to success. The wars I served in were controversial, but at least for Vietnam, there was a draft, and unless your family could politic or buy your way into the TX National Guard, the draft was essentially fair to everyone. Now this country has been thrown into a war to help us make America safer. Mission definitely NOT ACCOMPLISHED! Fear not though, the Dow and NASDAQ have shown gains, and defense contractors like Halliburton are now set for life, thanks to the war. And as long as we have poor Americans who want some way, any way, to help their children, we will have our ALL VOLUNTEER ARMY. God bless the USA!!!

> I am a Mexican American who spent more than 20 years serving this
> country, and retired from the Army in 1995. I served tours of duty in
> both Vietnam and Desert Storm. I work as a Physician Assistant, and am
> a native of San Antonio, TX.
> Hispanics are recruited into the military most often because there
> are few options for them here, and in many other areas around the
> country. They are recruited from the south and west sides of San
> Antonio, because that is where the majority of Hispanics live, and not
> by coincidence, that is also where poverty and despair live. I can
> assure you, military recruiters are NOT knocking down the doors at a
> north side Alamo Heights High School. They are trolling the streets of
> west San Antonio, promising money for education, and a way out of the
> Barrio. I doubt someone who lives and goes to school in Alamo Heights
> wakes up dreaming of the day they can go to a military boot camp and
> be abused for 9 to 12 weeks, followed by an ever increasing chance of
> being sent to a country where some 3000 soldiers have been
> killed, and many thousand more have become amputees. Their birth
> right, as children of the Rich, is to go to college, and be successful
> at whatever they endeavor. The typical Hispanic from the west side of
> San Antonio goes to school in the Edgewood school district, which you
> may recognize as the school that took its' case to the Supreme Court
> in an effort to rectify the large disparity in the amount of money
> that goes to their schools, as opposed to the amount of money spent on
> north side schools, such as Alamo Heights. There has been some change,
> but the Edgewood school district remains the poorest in San Antonio.
> There is a cycle of poverty in these areas, and at times, the military
> seems to be the only way out of the cycle.
> I am proud of my service in the military, but I did not join
> because I am more patriotic than most. I joined because there was a
> draft then, and my parents did not have the money to send me to
> college, and my father was not a politician who could get me into the
> Texas National Guard ahead of hundreds of others on a waiting list. I
> had other priorities then as did VP D. Cheney, but I served my
> country, as have hundreds of thousands of Hispanics in our country's
> history.
> I really do not believe that Hispanics are the TARGETS of military
> recruiters, because in the military, it does not matter what color you
> are. The only color that matters with this administration is the color
> of money. The lower middle class and poor make up a great majority of
> our military recruits. Again, not coincidentally, a disproportionate
> number of Hispanics make up the members of those classes. The "
> Volunteer Army" is more exactly, an Army of the poor, and poor
> Hispanics are the cannon fodder for the Army.