Saturday, November 28, 2009

Trying To Figure It All Out, "What's Life All About?"

Found the following on my Facebook page a few days ago, and it scared me. My boy is asking me to get serious. I'd like to do that, but I'm not really sure I know how.

[Sir, just stopping by to say..."Hey"...How you be??? Need a blog topic??? How 'bout the pros and cons of being drafted or volunteering for the military. Religion and personal choice...on a higher power...i'll think of more...:}]

Probably, topics such as this cannot be handled all at once, so I'll start at the top of the list, and spread it out over time. I know he'll think of more....;^}

Concerning the pros and cons of being drafted or volunteering for the military. When the draft was discontinued, my eligibility had already run out, and at the time, I thought it was a good idea.

Without the draft, people in the military would be there because they made the choice, and would put more soul into being military. That seemed to make perfect sense during a time when there was nothing really serious going on in the way of military activity.

Up until the time of President Daddy Bush's 'Desert Storm', I thought things were fine the way they were. But then I began to hear, "The recruiters dint tell us nothin' like this. We joined for the educational opportunities, and a chance to better our lives. What's this business about going to war and putting our lives on the line?????"

Some of my fondest memories are from my teenage days, when many of my dad's friends were veterans of WWII. Back then, the military was a pretty good life, and, in general, it was well respected. They spoke with enthusiasm about their experiences in "The War". Most of them chanced to be non-combatants, serving in mail service, but the best stories came from those who claimed (whether in fact or in fiction) to have been subjected to extreme danger in Europe.

My dad was a volunteer. He was in his early thirties, slightly older than those who were the major target of the draft, but he felt certain that, if the war continued, everyone would eventually be called up. He chose the Navy because he claimed, "I can take a lot of hardship, but I'd really rather eat off a table and sleep in a bed. In the Navy I won't end up in a foxhole".

I was a draft dodger, because I started college as the Korean Conflict was ending, and college students needed only to apply for a "student deferment" to postpone their obligation to the draft. Time went by, and by the time I finally became almost eligible for a diploma, I was married with an infant daughter. Nothing urgent was going on at the time, so, as a family man, I managed to avoid being called. In most of the numerous places I looked for employment after leaving The University, it was mentioned, "And because you have a child, you're not likely to be drafted away from us". Although the deferments extended my eligibility for the draft from 27 to 35, I was never drafted. I was a draft dodger by happenstance, not by design.

I have great respect for the armed forces of our country. They serve a useful purpose, even though that's not always apparent.
I was an inadvertent draft dodger, who never served in the military.

I think that it's time to return to the draft as a way of recruiting our military forces. Knowing fully well that things would not change drastically in the demographics of enlistees. With a draft, there's a much better chance that, when really needed, the military can be expanded as required, with a much better representation of the overall citizenry, who should serve their country as an inherent obligation.



Anonymous said...

Sir, I was the oldest son of a dead 18...I missed the draft and was an unconscious consciencous objector...I disrespected all wars unless they were like storming Travis lake...war now is a necessary evil...evil being the operative word...In BC there were wars and in AD there are wars,,,it's almost like "inhumane natural selection"...If there were no wars what would the world do with all those extra people and we would not know Halliburton from Halley Berry...Good points...I look forward to your next posting..

Anonymous said...

I think i'll start a are my muse Dad

Willie C said...

I'll get back to you on this one, the old lady almost has supper ready. I'll have to think about it a while. Told you it was a thought-provoking subject. I imagine that's why you picked it.

Willie C said...

Wars and rumors of wars....yeah, son, it's "Human Nature". I knew a guy once (don't want to be accused once more of being a name dropper) who first turned me onto the idea of being skeptical about war.

Then, along came "Country Joe and the Fish" in the movie about Woodstock, which contributed to my feelings about it.

I will always consider WWII as a just and necessary war, but even that one had its political implications, and had to be "managed" in order to maintain the public interest.

Originally, this blog entry was intended to be an answer to your inquiry about my thoughts concerning "draft as opposed to volunteer service", and I have expressed as best I can my feelings on that subject. If there's more I can add, let me know what you think it might be.

I'm FOR the draft, for reasons given. And yet, when you look at the "patriots" on today's "conservative" side of the fence in Washington, who were of age to serve but got out of it, it's hard to say if the draft system is really better. So many of them had "better things to do" than fight for their country.

I think I'll stick to my story for now.