At the strip mall in Hot Springs where Daren Stewart worked, however, most of the recruiters were on antidepressants or antianxiety medication. They worked 12- to 14-hour shifts, six or seven days a week, Stewart said. Commanders cursed, humiliated and screamed at soldiers who fell short of monthly quotas, threatening to ruin their careers or withhold time off with loved ones, he said. Stewart turned to alcohol to cope with stress so severe it destroyed his marriage and made his hair fall out.
Sgt. 1st Class Henry Patrick said fellow recruiters in the Hot Springs station were told to shift conversations with potential recruits away from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That didn’t sit right with him. “I’d tell them they had a 50-50 chance,” said Patrick, 43. “For the few people I did put in, they liked the fact that I was honest with them.”
Staff Sgt. Wade Bozeman, another Hot Springs recruiter, said he also hated the tacit expectation that he should compromise his ethics to meet recruiting goals, whether it meant falsifying records or lying to recruits. Deeply depressed, the 37-year-old gained 50 pounds and started suffering from insomnia, blackouts and panic attacks. His wife, Jill Bozeman, asked his commanders for help, to no avail.
The Courage to Resist National Week of Letter Writing to Show Support for War Resisters is March 16-23, 2009
We are asking allies of the G.I. resistance movement to gather together to write:
- Letters of support to war resisters in prison, awaiting court martial, or seeking refuge in Canada
- Letters to the Canadian government asking that war resisters be allowed to stay
- Letters to our own government demanding amnesty for war resisters
[More @ Courage to Resist]