'Raging Grannies' Want to Enlist in Army
TUCSON, Ariz. – They call themselves the "Tucson Raging Grannies (search)" and range in age from 65 to 81. And despite being decades older than the maximum age for recruits, they're upset because they can't enlist in the Army.
Five members of the group are fighting trespassing charges after they were cited at a protest here last week at the military recruitment center.
The group has protested on Wednesdays for the last three years outside the recruitment center.
But on July 13, five grannies went inside to try to enlist and were cited.
"We went in asking to be sent to Iraq so our kids and grandchildren can be sent home, but rather than listening to us, they called the police," said 74-year-old Betty Schroeder. "It was their place to tell us the qualifications, but they wouldn't even speak to us. They should've said, `You're too old.'"
Schroeder said her group may approach the Pentagon (search) to see if they could be sent to Iraq.
Nancy Hutchinson, spokeswoman at the Army recruiting headquarters in Phoenix which oversees Tucson's recruiters, said people who disagree with the war should be contacting their legislators instead of bothering recruiters.
"They need to direct their frustrations at people who have the power to change things," Hutchinson said. "Recruiters don't make policy and they can't change policy. They have a job to do and they are following orders."
Schroeder said she hopes the trespassing charges will be dropped and an apology given to the group from the Tucson Police Department (search) and from the recruiters.
"This was not a performance, a joke or civil disobedience," she said. "This was an enlistment attempt."