NPR broadcast a story this morning about a young soldier named Astor Sunsuin-Pineda. He was the focus of an Army recruitment commercial on Spanish language TV, who was killed earlier this month in Iraq from a roadside bomb. Since his death, according to the report, the army has stopped running the ad. Here it is:
All of Army’s advertising, even somber commercials like this one, tip-toe over the two most important aspects of the serving in the military — killing and getting killed. We’re in a world where PR experts say to take the toughest obstacles head on. So why can’t the Army make ads that persuade young recruits to join while honestly presenting the possibility of fighting and dying for their country? Shouldn’t the Army have to do this?
Too many recruitment ads make the military seem like adventure camp. I’m even more disappointed that when one of the stars die, they quietly discontinue the spot. The Army should run a new ad commemorating Sunsuin-Pineda. If it can’t honestly make the prospect of fighting for the U.S. and possibly dying in Iraq seem worthwhile in that ad, then it doesn’t deserve new recruits to fight this war.