Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The editorial, A Military for a Dangerous New World, in Sunday's NY Times was "right on." I see one gigantic caveat, we simply cannot afford a Volunteer Army with the size and mobility to fight present and future wars. Adding troops? From where? We are paying huge bonuses to retain soldiers with critical skills with no end in sight. And, while the economy is probably going to help recruiting, building up and retaining Forces to the neccesary levels is going to be difficult, if not impossible.

We have yet to face the fact that we have to return to some system of the draft. My suggestion is in the form of community service. Youngsters between the ages of 18-26 would have a choice of a myriad of possibilities such as Teach America or Habitat for Humanity or they could design their own.

If we had some sort of conscription into Community Service where all would serve, enough I believe would be challenged by military service that the size of the armed forces could be maintained. We would always need a military cadre and specialized soldiers but intially, foot soldiers would fill the ranks as their community service. Modeled on a combination of some form of Israel, South Korea, and even Germany'S approach, we could make this work. We are smart people and our plan should be long range.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Read the article on "My Marine"...good article. Reminds me of when I joined the Navy at 17 in my senior year of high school...had no idea what I wanted to do. A friend of mine from Dunn joined with me. I remember telling mama and daddy that I wanted to join...basically they said.."are you sure you want to do this'? ...they had to sign for me since I was only seventeen at the time....I signed in December of 1976 and went to bootcamp July 18th of 1977. Also..did not know that November 10th was 233rd birthday of Marine Corps...November 10th was our 24 year wedding anniversary. wa

Do you ever wish you had stayed in the Navy? Your Dad use to tell me all the time that he wished he had stayed.

I think lots about where we are in our country, as relates to the military. I heard this guy with the VFW interviewed on NPR the other day and the interviewer said something that I have thought for some time: she said something like, "With all our financial difficulties, in the future, are we going to be able to afford this very expensive military?" His reply I thought was very good. He said, "We have a Volunteer Army and we simply have to pay them for their sacrifices. And, we are not talking a hand out but a hand up, meaning that we owe them and their families for what they do.

We do owe them but essentially we have a mercenary force and they are expensive. Would we be better off to institute some sort of Community Service where all had to serve, not necessarily in the military but other stuff. And, hope, of course, that enough young Americans would want to be challenged with the military. I have surely been thinking this obviously. Politically, we don't have the moral will to institute the draft but something similar might work. da