Thursday, May 19, 2005


No one denies that our country is facing all kinds of crisis. Maintaining an armed forces at the level to protect and defend is suddenly surfacing as a number one problem. The Army is way behind in recruiting as well as the venerable Marines who have missed their goals for the last three months--unheard of! The head general of the recruiting command, Major General Michael Rochelle, is getting more TV time than Britney Spears. And, the General has been to all the schools: calling Lou Dobbs, "Lou." Lou, of course, is on a break from bashing illegal aliens, to talk to the good general. And, according to the General, the Army is going to hold a conference, a "stand down," as they are calling it and as we did in Vietnam, to figure out the problem. Good luck!

I've got a few suggestions. An AllServe military. A universal service, choices for America's young people, ages 18: they can choose different avenues to be named, i. e., Teach America, etc. But, enough would choose the military to fill the ranks. However, something larger is at stake here rather than just filling the ranks--a chance to restore a sense of community to the country. Think about it. A hundred years ago, a national consensus existed and today, no way--the country is fractured and is in despeate need of repair. What better way than through national service, an AllServe.

The military holds the greatest possibility in restoring a sense of unity to our country. The AllServe military could easily restore a sense of balance and tradition not to mention some sense of discipline. Americans today disagree on fundamentals, ethics, a thousand and one things and this is not going to change. But, we have no unifying institution--an AllServe universal service could do that for us.

The schools have failed miserably in doing what they should be doing, the least of which is to introduce a shared Amcrican culture. A concept of universal service--youngsters being required to give back to America a little something in service. I'm convinced that youngsters, given this opportunity, will respond.

It is unseemly for Generals like Rochelle and these poor young recruiters going out hat in hand begging young men and women to serve their country. AllServe is the answer.

No comments: