on child soldiers: The Little Round Kid Memorial Orphanage and Combat-Training Institute

Sometime after receiving the Meritorious Service Medal for my reconnaissance work during the winter of 2003, I traveled to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to deliver medical supplies to the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. It was then, while giving Juicy Fruit gum to former child soldiers, that destiny walked up and smacked me right in the face. Children are our most valuable resource — who would deny it? We had neglected the obvious long enough. I knew what I had to do.

So it was that in the spring of 2008 that I founded the Little Round Kid Memorial Orphanage and Combat-Training Institute. Our motto: “They’re orphans, damn…how many choices they got?” Thanks to the continuing conflict in the middle east, sales of our “Our child soldiers can kick your child soldiers asses” bumper stickers have skyrocketed. All in all, I am very pleased with what we have accomplished here.

You know, war just doesnt threaten children by exposing them to physical danger. For children caught in the crossfire, war often takes away the care, protection, and support that is so necessary for them to thrive.  Here at the Little Round Kid Memorial Orphanage and Combat-Training Institute, we believe that children should not be used to further political agendas, or in war or other forces of armed conflict under any circumstances, but by God, if other countries are going to do it, we are too. We’re evening the odds, believing all child soldiers, regardless of nationality, should at least have a fighting chance. Except, of course, thanks to our rigorous 12-hours-per-day training regimen, the kids on the other side really don’t. But then, we DO want to win this thing.

Our efforts are not limited to the United States. We scour the globe, looking for children who have become separated from their families, forced to become enemy soldiers, or those who have fallen victim to any of the other forms of abuse and neglect that war political unrest brings. We provide them with food, clothing, education we provide psychosocial support — addressing their emotional as well as physical well-being through our “Who Killed Your Mom and Dad?  They Did!” seminars, we provide nurture — by snuggling up and reading such classic stories as “The Poky Little Puppy Goes To The Middle East And Eats the Taliban.” Its the little things in proper child-rearing that poverty-stricken, war-torn societies would miss.

The children we rescue are not only active combatants in opposing regimes, but are forced by our enemies to work as porters, cooks, spies, minesweepers and “wives”. Regardless of whether they are in combat roles or have been militarized to support combatants, the Little Round Kid Memorial Orphanage and Combat-Training Institute is committed to preventing further underage recruitment by any military or armed group. Except ours.

Three years now weve been operating — three happy, happy years. Before I go to bed each night, I say a little prayer for each and every one of our beloved children. There are those who dont believe in what we are trying to accomplish, as evidenced by the stacks of hate mail we use to heat the dormitories — everybodys a critic. If they could only see the little messages tacked to my bulletin board…little war illustrations of me being stabbed in the head or stepping on a landmine with cute little scribbled messages like “I hat U!” and “I won go hom!” and know, as I do (and as soon as they learn how to write the word “don’t” it will be clear to everyone) that these children are happier than they ever thought they could be.  So, too, am I.  Nothing further.

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