Saturday, November 12, 2005

Recruiting Lead: Luther College [IA]

The College Republicans at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, just hosted Conservative Week:

Friday, November 4, was focused on supporting the troops. Eric Schultz ('09) and Jake Rosholt ('09) organized a "Support the Troops" that was located outside the Caf. Students then had the opportunity to write messages on a poster. The poster was then given to the Decorah National Guard.

The group also distributed yellow ribbons on campus in support of the troops.

"The goal of our day is to remind students about the sacrifices our troops make every day," Schultz said, "and to encourage students to send a message of support to troops serving our nation."

Well, Eric, if you are heterosexual, you appear to be eligible to join the troops yourself.

How 'bout it?

While we're at it, let's also invite some of the Luther College Republicans Officers:

Joel Sedgeman, Vice Chair

Pat Knapp, Secretary

Christopher Arp, Treasurer and Webmaster


At 14 November, 2005 21:57, Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

They say to suppor the troops, but HOW are they supporting the troops? Making posters and putting yellow magnets on cars technically isnt supporting the troops at all. Are they just talking the talk without walking the walk?

At 14 November, 2005 22:26, Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

I just sent them an email. Check it out:

Dear Officers of the Luther College Republicans,

Supporting our troops is of vital importance given the current state of war that America is in. And as we all know, what the troops need most right now is more troops.

Very recently your organization hosted Conservative Week, where you had people sign a poster and passed out yellow ribbons, promoting the message of supporting our troops. While creating posters and handing out ribbons is a great way to promote the "support the troops" message, those activities by themselves do not support the troops.

If you really want to support the troops, you need to support them where they need it most, and what they need is more troops. The troops don't need yellow ribbons passed around at American college campuses. No amount of yellow ribbons anywhere in America will stop an IED in Baghdad.

Its ok if you are in college; the military pays for college, and allows you to continue your schooling, plus you get on the job experience at the same time. It is truly a win-win situation. In fact, there is no argument against all of you volunteering right now aside from a medical condition.

So Megan, Linda, Joel, Amanda, Pat, and Christopher, will you please sign up for military service at your local recruiting station? Although any branch would be acceptable, I would suggest the Army, as they are the branch most in need of enlistments.

The time has come to act, and not just talk. You claim to be Republicans, now prove it. I am looking forward to reading about your organization announcing all of your enlistment very soon.

Thank you, and God bless America.

Aaron Kinney

At 16 November, 2005 00:48, Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

A follow up email:

Dear Officers of the Luther College Republicans,

It is unfortunate that none of you have anything to say. Your fairweather troop supporting mentality is plain to see.

Obviously you are all RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). You should stop embarassing yourselves and let your positions be staffed by people who have some actual conviction. Real Republicans are done a disservice by your chickenhawk conduct.

I wish I could understand WHY it is that you tell people to support the troops, yet when someone returns the message, you become silent? Why do you not practice what you preach? Why do you refuse to support the troops?

Decorah, Iowa obviously isn't part of the real America. Its part of France.

God Bless the Real America

Aaron Kinney

At 17 November, 2005 11:05, Blogger radar said...

This post is even more silly than the others. Isn't it obvious that the media only reports soldiers' deaths and websites like yours are only interested in getting our troops out of Iraq? In this way "Supporting our Troops" through rallies and yellow ribbons is exactly what is needed to keep the national morale up for a global war.

At 17 November, 2005 12:29, Blogger Karl said...


Actually, no.

We want our country to succeed in Iraq and elsewhere. We want Our President to succeed leading Our Country during his entire Presidential term.

That means having the courage to do the hard things like actually persuading real Americans to volunteer for what President Bush has described as a "noble calling."

Yellow ribbons and rallies mean nothing; that's what the Clinton Administration would propose. But that's not enough to win.

I know that the troops appreciate care packages, etc., from their friends and relatives who are not eligible for military service. As we don't have War Bonds, what else can regular people do to show their support?

Not much. And, rallies won't win the peace in Iraq if our Army is missing its recruiting quota.

That's where Operation Yellow Elephant comes in. We've identified some motivated eligible Americans and we're asking them to consider volunteering.

How about you?

At 17 November, 2005 20:30, Blogger radar said...

You know, I don't think that is why you started this site. I think that you hate George Bush, and you feel the need to mock conservatives and Christians and find some sort of peace in that. Rallies and yellow ribbons are actually important, because they are the only way the troops that come home know they are supported by America. Have you ever talked to a returning vet? They will tell you that news is so biased about Iraq that they can't hardly stand to watch TV, let alone head to a website like yours. Your purpose is not to recruit - it's to insult those that do and who were recruited and serve this country.

At 18 November, 2005 03:37, Blogger Karl said...


If the "conservatives and Christians" really want to support President Bush so that we succeed in Iraq, I'm sorry, but yellow ribbons aren't enough.

And the troops know hypocrisy when they see it.

Good luck in your future pursuits, yellow ribbons and all.

At 18 November, 2005 11:16, Blogger Aaron Kinney said...


Yes the veterans returning rom the battle front are sick of the distorted news coverage.

So what do you think the solution to that problem is radar?

Getting more young able-bodied Republicans to enlist, so that they can experience this war firsthand, therefore circumventing the biased media coverage that they are exposed too. Just keeping the TV tuned to FOX NEWS isnt enough!

And when they finish their tours, these young, noble Republicans can get in front of the news cameras and add THEIR voice to the media, and tell everyone how it REALLY is happening over there.

All in all radar, you have so far presented NO ARGUMENT against encouraging Republicans to enlist. In fact, your whining about the media is only another reason FOR getting more Republicans to enlist.

So how about it radar? Are you ready to take part in Americas "highest calling" yet and volunteer for an infantry position in the United States Army? Will you recommend service to all your eligible friends?

At 18 November, 2005 16:57, Blogger Michelle Grace said...

To all supporters of OYE:

This past week I was "alerted," you might say, by a friend about this site. I was also saddened to hear about the continued harassment of the Luther College Republican chairs regarding their lack of service during this war. As a Luther College Conservative, and as the wife of an Army officer currently deployed, I'd like to put in a few words:

While your logic seems good - let those who support the war enlist and fight on the front lines - it is not. Have you ever considered that fighting a war takes more than soldiers? There are important duties that go on state-side during wars, and while these contributions often do not come with life-threatening risks, they are important nonetheless. The war couldn't be fought without people back home paying taxes, running families, building and designing military goods and weapons, and the list goes on.

It seems to me that OYE supporters do not understand the gravity of the structure of this war and modern warfare, and how that relates to how we are fighting the war in Iraq. We are in an age of immense technological inovations, and that has changed the face of warfare. This war is not going to be won by combat alone. The war in Iraq is going to be won by intelligence and the strength of relationships built by Americans and Iraqis. There are several organizations out there, like "Operation Iraqi Children" that are getting supplies to Iraqi communities to better the lives and education of Iraqi children. These organizations are supported by those who are not necisarily affiliated with the military. The military, on the other hand, acknowledges the difference these types of organizations can make on relations between the soldiers and the Iraqis, and these relations in turn help save lives, as Iraqi community members gain trust in American military, and give them intelligence. This is just one way in which the war it self is being supported, and fought, if you will, by non-military war supporters. My point here is that you need to become more creative in your outlook on how people support the war.

Aaron Kinny suggests that what the troops really need are more troops. This is a false statement. If you check with the military statistics, there have been record re-enlistment numbers, as well as a 101-105% recruitment rate (according to their goals) across the board for all military branches in the month of October. If the military is, in fact, gaining more members than desired, how can you say what the troops need are more troops? And, most importantly, if you ask any soldier, one of the biggest risks in the field of combat is to fight next to a soldier who doesn't belong in the military. Just because you're eligible in the eyes of the military doesn't mean you're a good fit for it.

Lastly, I am curious if any of you have even talked to a soldier who is serving, or who has served. For the majority of soldiers who have served in Iraq, they will tell you that those citizens who show their support back home by "posting ribbons" and "signing paper" reaffirms their duties. It is human nature to want to be acknowledged for a job well done, and to see evidence of support through a tough job in progress. One of the greatest mistakes that this country is taking is falling into the trap of political criticism that is going on in our country. It must be demoralizing to the troops when they hear that people don't beleive in what they're fighting for. The enemies relish in the idea that we aren't sure whether or not they're even a threat! By posting ribbons and supporting the troops in these litte ways, one is actually fighting against what the enemy wants - our country in disarray amongst ourselves.

As a wife of a deployed soldier, I get no greater comfort than seeing people show their support by posting ribbons. In this small action, doors open for me - for these are the people I know I can talk to through this difficult time, because the last thing I need is to talk to a non-supporter and tell me war statistics. I'm sure all soldiers over in Iraq do a better job every day, knowing their family is surrounded by people who believe in them.

At 19 November, 2005 10:51, Blogger Karl said...

Dear Michelle Grace-

Thank you for your comments, and for your and your husband's service to our country. Even though I (and we) don't always agree on everything, we do share a deep concern for our country AND a strong desire for successful accomplishment of our missions in Iraq and elsewhere.

As we've tried to explain in OYE 101, Operation Yellow Elephant is a nonpartisan grass roots citizens initiative to Support Our President. We are not "non-supporters," as claimed by a few wingnuts. We want our country to succeed. Don't you?

We in OYE certainly understand that a strong home front is essential to success. This includes care packages, homemade cookies and brownies, letters and ribbons. [Red, white and blue, please; not yellow. The Yellow Ribbon story concerned a prisoner held, at minimum, against his will. It was popularized with the American hostages in Iraq, again held against their will. Our servicemembers are volunteers. With certain exceptions (e.g., stop-loss, involuntary ex-IRR call-ups), they serve willingly and quite well.] For those (like many in OYE) ineligible to serve, that's about all we can do to Support Our Troops.

This also includes non-military activities, such as "Operation Iraqi Children," that are also essential for U.S. success in Iraq. As on the home front, all Americans want to do what they can. But some can do more than others can.

Re: more troops. The Army just missed its 2005 annual recruiting quota by the largest shortfall since 1979. The reserves and National Guard are having even more serious problems. Even though re-enlistment is high, Aaron Kinney's statement is true, not false.

Although I agree that a major risk is trying to fight next to a soldier who does not belong in the military, I very much disagree with the conclusion expressed that OYE has much if anything to do with that, for two reasons:

1. Our military has been successful because we have attracted quality individuals over the past several years; they become good soldiers. The current, difficult recruiting environment is quite different; a significant proportion of today's new soldiers would not have been accepted a few years ago. [Even the Marines recruited illegal aliens, according to the Village Voice.] That means that we're ALREADY enlisting people who really don't belong in the military, thus jeopardizing our success in the future.

2. Operation Yellow Elephant actually focuses on bright, motivated, energetic individuals who would, in fact, make excellent soldiers. Such as the Luther College Republicans. I think that they would be proud to serve with your husband, and he would love to have them in his unit. Have you asked him?

Re your next-to-last para, we in OYE also Support Our Troops and applaud whatever activity real Americans wish to do to show this. But there is no way that well qualified, eligible-to-serve Americans like the Luther College Republicans (particularly those we have identified from the Luther College Republicans' own website) can get themselves "off the hook" with just a ribbon.

If they support the war and are eligible to serve - but refuse to consider volunteering - then the yellow ribbon is an empty gesture that says a lot more about them (Yellow Elephants, all) than it supports the troops.

If they have considered volunteering and decided not to (and there are many legitimate reasons, such as concluding that your husband would not want him/them in his unit), or did, but were not accepted for military service, that's OK. There's not much more they can do.

And if any of the Luther College Republicans fall into this category, please let us know, including whatever explanation you think is appropriate. We will amend our website promptly.

America is a great country but President Bush needs some help here. And if the Luther College Republicans are really the future leaders of our governing party, then they will rise to this national leadership challenge and find the courage within themselves to consider volunteering.

And our efforts to encourage them to do so are not "continued harassment." Unless they can't take a few critical e-mails, in which case they really don't belong in the military, or in any position of leadership, after all.

'Sorry this is so long, and I welcome further discussion. [While you're at it, why don't you ask your fellow Luther College Republicans, whom you think would make good soldiers, to consider volunteering? Thanks.]

Karl Olson

At 19 November, 2005 19:30, Blogger Gadfly said...

Is there any other way to Support Our Troops besides enlisting? Or is that the only argument you have? Don't ask me how to Support Our Troops, I've tried and I can't enlist, so that enlisting suggestion isn't going to work here. I don't need a response such as "Well, there's not much else you can do" either. Unless of course, that's all you can think to suggest, in which case I think you need to acknowledge the Luther Republicans for their efforts instead of telling them to enlist. What do you know of that organization anyway, are you on Luther College's campus? Or are you just assuming that you know what that organization is about?

At 20 November, 2005 08:08, Blogger Karl said...


Even though the military recruiters did not accept you for service, Operation Yellow Elephant Thanks You for Stepping Forward.

That's the context of, "Well, there's not much else you can do," which refers to military service itself. You've done your part. We're trying to get the Luther College Republicans to do theirs.

Operation Yellow Elephant welcomes the wide variety of "Support The Troops" activities by real Americans not eligible for military service.

But if you think that the College Republicans and Young Republicans can evade their national leadership responsibilities without even explaining why they won't consider the "noble calling" of military service, well, we'll just have to disagree on that.

The Army told me I'm too old (and they're not raising the maximum age quickly enough for me), but that I could help by encouraging younger (i.e., eligible) people to consider serving.

Please join us in this effort.

Thank you.

At 20 November, 2005 18:02, Blogger Ellner said...

I support the police department, the fire department, paramedics, the US congress, the Supreme Court, the ragners of our National Parks, and the military, among other public service bodies. What should I do? If I join the military I cannot immediately serve in the police department or as a member of congress etc. And the Army has surpassed its recruiting goals since June, so they don't need me any more than these other bodies. In fact, I know of some cities (Berkeley, CA) that are in desperate need of better representation in Congress - the sooner the better. Is it OK for me to support better representation in Berkeley, or a strong police force, without enrolling myself? If so, then what differentiates this with supporting the military?

At 21 November, 2005 13:01, Blogger Karl said...


What differentiates various other things from "supporting the military" is this:

Our Country is at War in Iraq.

These are not "normal times." And the fact that the Army may have met its monthly recruiting quotas does not mean they are turning people away. Quite the contrary.

President Bush has described this as a "noble calling." What more do you need?

If you really want to Support Our President, contact your local military recruiting office and see how you can help. I did; they told me I'm too old, but that I should encourage younger, eligible people to consider serving.

How about you?

If they say to you, "Thanks, but no thanks; do what we told Karl," then you're off the hook. But if they're interested, you'll know that you'll be Supporting Our President and Our Country.

Over the past several years, the American people have elected one party to govern our country and set a good example for the rest of us. It's time for the current and future leaders of our governing party to fulfill their national leadership responsibility by Supporting Our President in the most honest way you can - In Iraq.

Thank you.


Post a Comment

<< Home