A California judge rejected a foster teen's request for early enlistment with the Marine Corps — and a $10,000 signing bonus — reportedly on the grounds that the judge didn't approve of the Iraq war.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Marilyn Mackel denied 17-year-old Shawn Sage's request to join the military last October, according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News.
"The judge said she didn't support the Iraq war for any reason we're over there," Marine recruiter Sgt. Guillermo Medrano of the Simi Valley U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office told the paper.
"She just said all recruiters were the same — that they 'all tap dance and tell me what I want to hear.' She said she didn't want him to fight in it."
Sage, a Simi Valley, Calif., resident, begged the anti-war judge for permission to join, according to the Daily News.
"Foster children shouldn't be denied [an] ability to enlist in the service just because they're foster kids," Sage told the paper. "Foster kids shouldn't have to go to court to gain approval to serve one's country."
Sage plans to join the Marines when he turns 18 in June and his case has prompted a Republican lawmaker to introduce a bill that would allow foster teens to enlist in the military without the express permission of a judge.