Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Contact: George Main 916.505-4869 or Cres Vellucci 916.996-9170

Attention: News Desk

Vets hold ground at regional military recruiting station,
ignore threats of arrest to reach young recruits

SACRAMENTO - A military veterans organization claimed
a major victory early Tuesday after members - despite repeated police
warnings of immediate arrest - were able to virtually swarm a bus
carrying potential military recruits and distribute literature
encouraging them to not enlist to fight in the war in

The confrontation Tuesday occurred about a week after
a young recruit passed through a similar band of
veterans, changed her mind and walked away from the
Military Entrance Processing Station. Since then the
military has tried to stop the daily, very early
morning protests.

Tuesday, at about 5 a.m., police and military
recruiters repeated threats that they were going to
arrest the veterans and other gathered at the only
military processing facility north of Fresno. However,
about two dozen VFP volunteers refused to leave and distributed
information and displayed signs about unfair tactics used by desperate
military recruiters.

"Many of us who have served our time in the military
were willing to go to jail today if necessary to help
these young people understand their rights. We've
seen war, and we will not be intimidated," said George
Main, VFP Sacramento president. VFP is present daily
as the busses enter the facility at 5 a.m.

VFP is demanding recruiters - already caught using high-pressure
tactics to entice youth to volunteer to fight in Iraq - offer new
recruits a "72-hour cooling off" period because recruiters are known
for preying on young people by using intimidation, coercion and
fraud to get them to enlist.

At the MEPS facility, for example, recruits are bussed
in at 5 a.m. and, in effect, detained for 10-12 hours
and then coerced into signing enlistment papers after enduring high
pressure sales tactics throughout the day.