By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin --(Ammoland.com)- I taught Air Force Junior ROTC in the small town of Aberdeen, Mississippi.
Like all military programs I had to keep the number of members in my unit up to a certain level or the Air Force would dissolve the unit. In my case the members of the unit were high school 9th-12th graders who were cadets in my Junior ROTC unit.
To develop interest for new incoming freshman / 9th graders I would go over to the junior high school and speak to the 8th grade classes. Junior ROTC at Aberdeen High School had only been around for two years at that time and in that part of Mississippi there was very little knowledge or interest in the military.
One rather small framed 8th grade girl asked a couple of questions about JROTC so I remembered her very well when she came into my classroom that next fall. She appeared to have put on weight during the summer but that was none of my concern.
As the semester went on it was obvious the child was pregnant. I believed the girl was thirteen and I went to the school guidance counselor. I was a retired Air Force policeman, a former Nevada State police office and I was retired from a police department in Texas. Even though I was teaching JROTC, I did then, and still do think like a cop.
I told the counselor that I believed we had a case of statutory rape, child endangerment, and I listed off a number of other potential charges. Her eyes got real wide and she told me she would look into it right away. A couple of days later the counselor advised me that the child was fourteen and the family believed the father of the baby was a cousin, so the mother of my cadet did not want to do anything about it.
You need to understand that the age of consent in Mississippi is fourteen. So if an adult male wants to have sex with a fourteen year old female child that is OK in good old Mississippi. The fact my female cadet was obviously thirteen when she was impregnated did not seem to factor into this equation.
The “no snitch” mentality that is so prevalent in some communities when it comes to crime is also culturally enforced when it comes to having sex and impregnating very young female children. The State of Mississippi has a new statute on the books that will require a female younger than sixteen to identify the father of her baby or the State will take umbilical cord blood and run DNA testing.
I volunteered at an Air Force recruiting office when the Colonel was stationed in Columbus, Mississippi. It was hard getting some males qualified to enlist in the Air Force. It got to the point the first question we would ask of a potential young man that we believed could make it through the validation process to enlist was, “do you have any children?” If they did and they were not married to the child’s mother then the Air Force considered that young man a single parent and in 2000-2001 the Air Force would not allow a single parent–father or mother to enlist. We had potential enlistees who had never seen the baby they fathered or ever paid any support for the child. Why should they, the State of Mississippi was more than willing to roll out all of the Federal, State and local financial support the taxes payers were prepared or not so prepared to provide.
There are rather simple ways a father can terminate his parental rights and if done, the Air Force would no longer consider them a single parent and would then allow them to enlist. I never could get one of the otherwise qualified potential enlistees to give up their parental rights. “That’s my baby, I can’t do that” was one response. Of course the young man had never seen the baby or supported the child and mother.
I have said many times I believe the State of Mississippi is broken. I know in liberal speak my statement is “mean spirited” but Mississippi has the highest teen pregnancy in the nation. It is only a few points shy of being twice the National average. Half of Mississippi’s 82 counties reported at least one pregnancy of a 10-14 year old child in 2011. That little freshman cadet’s baby would be twelve years old now. Sadly this girl child could be pregnant by the time she enters the 9th grade.
If the family does not care anymore for this generation of their female members then what hope is there; and of course the Nation and State are expected to provide for the new baby until it can again continue a family tradition.Major Van Harl USAF Ret. firstname.lastname@example.org
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.: Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” email@example.com