The Military & Draft Counseling Project
Who we are:

The Military & Draft Counseling Project serves as a community resource on issues related to military service and military enlistment, the military draft and conscientious objection.

 

We promote alternatives to militarism and military recruitment in schools and, to that end--we engage in public education, community outreach, and the lobbying of public officials.  We are an all-volunteer organization, and we charge no fees for our services, but we gladly accept donations.

The Military & Draft Counseling Project works in cooperation with a network of National and local organizations, including War Resisters League (WRL), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Center on Conscience and War (CCW), the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY), and Project YANO.  Locally we work with Veterans for Peace (Chapter 72), Peace and Justice Works, Recruiter Watch PDX, and the Veteran's Bridge Fund.

 

Counseling and Referrals:

We provide basic information to military service members and their families about their legal rights and options under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (military law) and we make referrals to the GI Rights Hotline (1-877-477-4487) or veterans organizations for complicated situations. 

We actively oppose compulsory military conscription (the military draft) and economic conscription (the "poverty draft"), and we offer information and support related to:

  • Selective Service requirements and procedures, including draft registration

  • Legal deferments and exemptions- including conscientious objection

  • Draft resistance options and strategies

  • Updated information about the Selective Service requirements for women

 

Current Projects:

We give classroom presentations at Portland area high schools. The usual format is a panel of speakers including Iraq and/or Afghanistan war veterans along with local peace & justice activists.

 

Topics include veterans' perspectives on war and militarism, personal experiences with life and death in the Armed Forces, a reality check on military recruitment, federal budget priorities, conscientious objection and other alternatives.  Recently, we have been giving between 10 and 20 classroom presentations per year.

 

We also staff an information table next to the military recruiting booths when the Armed Forces are scheduled at local high schools.  In Portland, these recruiting visits are limited to three per year at each high school as a result of our lobbying efforts over the years. (We staff approximately 30 information tables per school year.)  At high schools outside of Portland Public Schools, there are no such limitations and few opportunities for equal access tabling.

 

Beyond the projects, the Military & Draft Counseling Project organizes an annual protest against militarism at Portland's Rose Festival in the form of Navy and Coast Guard Warships at the downtown seawall, military recruiting booths at the fair, etc. 

 

We also organize sign-holding on the downtown bridges at various times and especially on tax day (April 15th) — with a pro-peace/anti-war message for rush hour commuters. And we join other organizations in protesting the escalation of war and occupation, including drone warfare and nuclear weapons proliferation.  For more information about these projects, or to volunteer, please contact us at wrl.pdx@gmail.com

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