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Sergeant recruiting for Marines in Fahrenheit 9/11 is killed by bomb
From Chris Ayres in Los Angeles
A RECRUITER for the US Marine Corps who was portrayed by Michael Moore’s antiwar film Fahrenheit 9/11 as deliberately targeting young men in poor neighbourhoods has been killed in Iraq.
Staff Sergeant Raymond Plouhar, 30, died on Monday after his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Anbar province. His family said that the Marine had hated the antiwar rhetoric of the film.
The footage of the sergeant was unflattering, showing him and a colleague trawling the car park of a shopping centre in Flint, Michigan, looking for young men to enlist. “Look it, he’s running away already,” the sergeant says as he approaches one teenager. “He’s seen us coming.”
In the documentary the Marine explains his strategy for approaching potential recruits. “It’s better to get them when they’re ones and twos and work on them that way,” he says. “Right now there is somebody out there who wants to be a Marine but has no idea how to do it.”
Before the car-park scene Moore’s voiceover suggests that the Marines cynically target poorer neighbourhoods. “They decided not to go to the wealthier Genesee Valley mall in the suburbs,” the film-maker says. “They have a hard time recruiting young people there.” Raymond Plouhar Sr said that his son had only 38 days left in Iraq.
“I’m devastated, sad and proud,” he told local reporters. “This just makes me devoted even more to his belief that people need help in Iraq, and he felt that he was helping.”
The death of his son has not changed his views on the conflict, which echo those of Republicans who accuse their Democrat rivals of wanting to “cut and run” from the conflict, which has killed more than 2,500 Americans since 2003.
“We need to resolve the war,” Mr Plouhar said. “If we walk out now, my son died for nothing and that will make me mad.” After joining the Marines in 1995, Staff Sergeant Plouhar took four years off from active duty after donating a kidney to an uncle. He spent the time serving as a Marine recruiter in Mr Moore’s home town of Flint, and he enlisted more than 60 people.
Residents in Flint spoke out yesterday in support of Staff Sergeant Plouhar. Jeff Monroe, whose son was enlisted by the sergeant, told The Flint Journal that the Marine was “an awesome guy”.
Mr Monroe said: “He sat down and spent tons of time with us. He didn’t suger-coat it [for my son] or anything like that. He said, ‘This is what it’s like. It’s not easy.’ He didn’t fill [my son] full of crap.”
In a scene from the Michael Moore film Farenheit 9/11, Marine recruiters chat with teenagers outside a shopping mall (DOG EAT DOG FILMS)
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