Antiwar Activist Plans

Answer to Marine Plea

She's a charter member of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, a 20-year member of Veterans for Peace and for some time now, a member of the Raging Grannies, that group of gray-haired peaceniks who take homemade cookies and tea to their antiwar protests. But leatherneck material for the U.S. Marines?

"My guess is that somebody decided they'd play a trick on the Marines," said Sally-Alice Thompson, 82, a well-known local antiwar activist who recently got an official solicitation from the Marine Recruiting Office in Albuquerque.

The Corps wants her, said a letter signed by Brig. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin, because of "your unique language skills . . . Your command of the Arabic language will be invaluable among the elite few."

Wait until he finds out the only Arabic words Thompson said she knows are assalamu alaikum, or "May peace be upon you."

Thompson, who said she heard that two Raging Grannies members in Waco, Tex., and Seattle received similar letters, said she would not let the enlistment request go unanswered. She, along with other Raging Grannies, will visit the Albuquerque recruitment office on Nov. 10 with their signature cookies and tea, and try to go into the lobby to serenade the Marines with war protest songs. The Marines have said they won't stop the group unless the grannies get rowdy.

-- Sylvia Moreno

Will Sally-Alice Thompson sign up?