Sunday, December 13, 2009



I must say I took offense at your animated use of the term 'draft dodger' when looking directly at me in order to undermine any argument I put forth that differed from yours re: Obama's decision to send troops to Viet Nam. Here is a passage from Wikipedia

'Of the nearly 16 million men not engaged in active military service, 96% were exempted (typically because of jobs including other military service), deferred (usually for educational reasons), or disqualified (usually for physical and mental deficiencies but also for criminal records to include draft violations).[4] Draft offenders in the last category numbered nearly 500,000 but less than 10,000 were convicted or imprisoned for draft violations.[8] Finally, as many as 100,000 draft eligible males fled the country.[31] [32

I guess the other 96% of the eligible male population were draft dodgers also -- The population of the US at the time, was over 200 million and a total of 2.1 million served in Viet Nam -- I'm shocked that they only listed 16 million as eligible. But accepting that number, it remains that the overwhelming majority of American males did not serve. Thanks for the cheap shot.

Ed, I absolutely apologize. I will have to be honest, I don't know from shit what I am saying half the time. In fact, you and I have discussed before; I actually have never felt badly toward anyone who could get out of the draft. In fact, so many did during the Vietnam era, more power to them is my view.

And, I am sure it is no comfort to you but you actually are in a long line of guys that I have ticked off by running my mouth. There are times that I think I'm getting better but things like this happen and I don't think so and I assure you, I don't take the asking of forgiveness lightly or in offering an apology. It was thoughtless of me. Sorry. My only excuse and this is a poor one: I think that one of the things is that it is so nice for me to be in a group where you don't have to be concerned what you say, that, on occasion, I go over the top. Most of my life, I've had to be around people that I didn't particular like and had to watch my words (still have too, lots) and so I just don't think. Sorry. God bless. And, thanks for calling me on it. jda


I'm sorry I missed the conversation regarding the draft. It was such a screwy system, a holdover from WWII/Korea. I guess if I stayed in the Merchant Marine, I probably would never have served in the USMC. But, I did what I did, no regrets. If I had made it into the airwing as I had hoped, I would have ended up in the Hanoi Hilton w/ McCain, or worse:Hank's wingman over North Viet! I don't know about Ed's service; perhaps he had a deferment or 4F:
The Italian Captain

Friday, December 04, 2009

I've always thought that a volunteer army is a bad idea (aside from the officers corps that largely arise through our military academies). It sets apart a segment of our society ("the Military") that is regarded quite differently from the rest of us. Whether you see that as a good thging or a bad thing, the worst factor is, I think, that it (i.e., no conscription) absolves huge numbers of able bodied men and women of having to make an obligatory contribution to our country. I know this is an unpopular view, but I think national service should be mandatory (as in Israel?), and even those who cannot serve in the military (for health reasons, for example) can surely serve in something like a domestic Peace Corps. Sometimes it seems we have have become a nation of self-indulgent evaders with no sense of Community. So, Jerry, we arrive back where we started, with arrogant politicians and an errant electorate. Seems that Ambrose Bierce was right again. He defines VOTE as "The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country."

i am amazed there isnt a national movement for mandatory community service since there are more poor and middle class who would support same than those enfranchised and rich to thwart such a move. Congress is the culprit in this scenario and that is why I believe they are all despicable!

the ADM

Thursday, April 02, 2009


My wife often fills me in on the titillating conversations she has with her gym partners. For me, I like quiet while I'm working out but apparently there are a couple of guys who keep a running conversation going when my wife is around. And, she says she always learns things. Today's topic had to do with the military. I think they were probably leading off the discussion with talking about the president's new proposal on Community Service. I haven't read it yet but it looks like at least a start. But, my wife's two buds today mainly were reminising about their military experience. One served in the Air Force and the other the Army. The Air Force one said that his wife constantly said that he had so many war stories about his time serving, how could he have been in only four years? At the time, he said, he hated it but as he looks back on the four years, the best experiences of his life. What he mirrors are the comments of vets over and over. And, the other talkative bud said that it was the best thing that ever happened to him. Why? I was so stupid and the military shaped me up. Quite a testimony and one that could be repeated thousands and thousands of time. His further comments supported a draft. "I think everybody should have to serve in the military. At that age, teenagers are stupid, making decisions that affect them the rest of their lives, often very negative ones. The military gives them time to mature." Good comments.

So why did the Volunteer Army become a part of our national landscape. Listening to the wrong voices, a naive concept that the end of war meant the need for a standing Army was less, honest and sincere people who weren't thinking--my view. The troubling issue to me is that what we have today is essentially a mercenary military. We pay other peoples' kids to fight our wars. In a Democracy, this is simply not right, better still, this is morally wrong in my opinion.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Email dialogue on SERVING

Hey Sir,
It's kind of interesting that this subject has come up several different ways over the last few days.
* Dad and I were discussing the woes of the Army football program recently. To me it's indicative of the times - higher academic standards for their atheletes; the Army's "mission" is less attractive to the majority of potential recruits than that of the other service academies; the "call to service" is nowhere near as strong as it was just a few generations ago...
* A recent story in the Army Times about the shift in the states where the majority of enlistees are coming from. The end result being a potentially frightening trend away from the military being a microcosm of our society.
* Another recent story about the recession driving the interest in Military Service up. The pessimist in me says this is bad, people think so lowly of "Service to Country" that it is a last ditch effort in hard times. The optimist in me says it's good, it could perhaps expand the representation from other states and push us back towards our military being a microcosm of our society. This is far more important than most people realize.
I am truely grateful that our country is making up for it's past mistakes in it's treatment of veterans. I am grateful for those that served before me to include you and my father, who in my opinion sacrificed far more than me and my generation. But as I get ready to head out the door for my 3rd deployment in 5yrs I can't help but wonder what the average American today considers a sacrifice on their part.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family. mr, CW4