Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Id seen it once before at the 2005 Jamboree, when I covered it for Time Magazine, so I shouldn't have been surprised. I remember how shocked I was that first year, that they could be so blatant about it.

    A big semi truck in the "Armed Forces Adventure Area" showed a man shooting a pistol on the side next to the words "Target Your Future." Inside they had video games that made killing look pretty fun. Before you could play you had to give your home address, phone number, and be photographed so you could get a neat laminated ID to wear around. In the last screen on the computer before they take your photo you have to agree that the information will be used to recruit you when you get to high school. Everyone clicks "OK" because they want to get the laminated ID which they will need for the climbing wall and the first person shooter game where you kill brown people in the streets of a nondescript Middle Eastern town.

    They even gave out merit badges for each branch of the armed services, if you did two hours of recruiting videos and "education" for each. Only eight hours of indoctrination and you could get all four badges.

    This year I wasn't surprised.

    This year I just thought they were monsters.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.