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.