latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What about a call to serve?

USA Today ran an article on the military recruiting heavily to Hispanics that ran in the Wilmington News Journal.

Like most articles I read about this topic, it's chock full of the suggestions that the military is misleading people with its recruiting pitches. Certainly, with Hispanics, language is a consideration.

While I don't profess to defend any or all tactics the military might use to get people to recruit, there are 2 things I can say with certainty as an officer myself in the U.S. Air Force Reserve who served on active duty.

First, the issue of the military "misleading" people in their recruiting efforts is an allegation that is universal, and not Hispanic. I've heard this from white, black, brown, men, women, people from the south, people from the northeast, etc. To insinuate that somehow Hispanics are more prone to join for a false premise simply because of a language barrier is not a fact I've seen supported through data. As I like to say, we may speak with an accent, but we don't think with one. If your motivation for not joining is that you may go to war and die, I think that's a pretty universal fear, no?

Second, why don't these articles ever talk about a calling to serve as the reason many join? Believe it or not, some of us love this country that has opened so many doors for us and feel we should give back. As first generation immigrants, we are very grateful to be in the United States. My parents always instilled a sense of service in my brothers and me. The military is not for everyone. But, for those of us who were called to serve, there are things much greater for which to give our lives for than merely college scholarships or citizenship.


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