On being drafted  

AstirRelicLatah 66M
1288 posts
8/28/2006 11:35 am

Last Read:
9/4/2006 5:15 am

On being drafted


I recently read an interesting book on our military make up and the lack of participation by the “elite” in this country. The book got me thinking about the concept of service and what that means for all of us.

I’ve been blathering incessantly about my son joining the Army and how unhappy I was about his choice. I also decided to stop whining about this a couple of weeks ago and don’t intend to start now. I’ve come to the conclusion that his joining the Army had to do with loyalty to a family friend who was killed in Iraq and his own need to serve. For that I’m so very proud that I can’t even start to express it appropriately.

One of the things the author points out in his book which is named AWOL is that when a family member joins the military, the rest of the family is also drafted. It’s so very easy for us that don’t have immediate family members as part of the service to mostly ignore what draws our loved ones to serve. It’s also easy for us without having family members in the service to find fault with those that choose to serve.

With my friends who are anti military they look at us with the where did you go wrong look….you know the one where they act like our child made a terrible mistake and we must have done something wrong in raising him in a manner that made military service an option. Frankly, I used to think that way myself….but as my son has spent more time in the service and starting to understand the concept of service to a greater cause, I think that we did a great job of raising our child. He not only feels responsibility for himself, but for the greater good as well.

On to the concept of serving….When you get to be fifty years old, there must be a rule where you start to whine about the younger generation and how they don’t get it. When I listen to my friends, they sound like my parents whining about me when I was twenty to twenty five years old…..but, there is a difference this time.

Most of us in our generation never spent time in the service of others. We grew up as the “me” generation. Many of us grew up feeling entitled to have the good life….we passed on that entitlement to our children. At the same time, we have become jaded and downright rude about those who serve in the military. We treat them like they are the deranged cousin that we love, but really aren’t sure how they ended up in the military….especially if they are the children of the college educated “intelligentsia” of the country.

What we as parents have not done is taught our children the concept of sacrifice and service…and, I’m not speaking of everyone, but a large portion of us….We taught our children about entitlement.

Our leaders have done the same thing….When 9/11 happened, no one asked us to sacrifice anything….in fact, Shrub asked us to go out and spend money…be happy and help the economy….and, oh by the way, here’s another tax cut….We had a chance to ask for sacrifice. The country was ready for it….we had a chance to ask for service, the country was ready for it….we didn’t…our leaders didn’t….no one did. I wonder if this is what is a major cause of pulling our country apart? It seems to me that we should be making some sort of sacrifice if we’re at war.

I now know there are a couple of million families making the sacrifice…they have loved ones serving….the rest of us is getting a free pass…so, don’t you think the families getting the free pass, especially those of the leaders of the country should have a personal experience of service….don’t you think so? Thanks as always for reading.

2daycowboywanted 46F

8/28/2006 11:49 am

Being that I personally have no member in the war right now, I really cant relate to someone who does, but all in all I wish them and their families many blessings.

Until later
2daycowboywanted


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/28/2006 3:11 pm:
Thanks for the blessings and that's my point...not enough of us have families that are serving...and, serving does not have to be in the military.

rm_shannee2006 53F
3355 posts
8/28/2006 1:15 pm

I totally agree with all your points about sacrifice and service. Our citizens have come to expect whatever is given to them and they are undereducated about how to survive with out luxuries....

However, there are people sacrificing who don't have family serving in the military. It's the millions of children in our public school systems, the teachers who don't get paid above a poverty level wage to teach them, the millions of our seniors who aren't getting proper health care because of medicare cuts (let me remind you that they grew up being told to believe in the system and that it was set up to take care of them...so they've relied on it and now it's too late to have planned differently) and those millions of people who depend on their health care and other subsistence income such as foster children who are now being denied counseling because of budget cuts. Now how could anyone deny counseling to foster kids!!!?

These people are considered the leeches on society...or at least not important enough to concern ourselves with...and let's get it straight that WE are the government. WE are allowing the officials to make these decisions and pass these laws which make cuts to budgets that cannot afford the loss of another dime.

The fact is that those who can afford SUV's and humungous houses are not making any sacrifices here unless they have someone in the service...and they gripe about every penny spent. And that's not my money resentment talking here...it's reality.

I do get angry about the have's acting like the have not's are out to milk them dry. It's the people they've put in charge and their own lazines that keeps their tax dollars from working for them as they'd like...social programming is not what's killing the budget...it's been proven that we can eliminate the deficit and have thriving social programs, so that's just horseshit if anyone bring that argument to bear. No it's the defense budget, officials salaries and theft of government money that's killing our budget.

I have alot of anger about situations like that. Situations that most people don't even give a shit about or that they figure they can do nothing about...despite the fact that we are talking about human beings and social responsiblity. People get up in arms over natural disaster victims, but they don't give a shit about who they share the road with, that they share a country with, that live down the road from them. They were horrified by the results of Katrina...but the way the government acted about that has been going on a damned long time...it was just revealed for the first time for all to see in all it's horrific glory. And everyone is outraged. They should be just as outraged by all the other people who are on the same recieving end of that crap in every where middle America as well...the old people eating cat food and stuffing their whole houses with newspaper because they can't afford heat or their medications...the teachers who are taking money out of their own family budget because they can't look at children who need notebooks for their school work each day and not make sure they have them...or the foster kids who've been through hell who aren't going to get counseling any more because of budget cuts.

So I definitely think there's a sacrifice that's been demanded...and without asking I might add...of over 60% of the population of this country...and it's going to effect our future. We are already seeing the ignorance and hopelessness of doing this to our school system and our elderly and under privileged for the past 30 years...and it's just not okay.

If a society looses respect for some part of itself it rots from the inside out. It's that simple.

I believe that what your son is doing is principled and right. I admire him and admire his courage and applaud your recognition of his wisdom and courage...and applluad your recognition of this attitude of entitlement.

I think it's had much wider impact than you are aware of and that it's cause a tremendous amount of suffering as a result.

Yup...this juiciness is from me....

S


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/28/2006 3:16 pm:
Great rant...The sacrifice i was speaking to is for the people who could afford it both on an economic and psychic level...Those are also the folks who have a holier than now attitude....The sacrifice you're speaking about is a whole different ball game....it's the sacrifice of circumstances and a cynical view by most of the rest of us...I had several "welfare mothers" working for different companies I owned over the years and none of the wanted to be on welfare...I actually think the impact is much wider than I or any of us realize....We need to have people with means interfacing with those without for real understanding to happen....the military used to be where this happened...not anymore.

wickedeasy 68F  
31332 posts
8/28/2006 1:48 pm

service should be a requirement - but it should have options should one feel strongly against serving where the killing o fanother human being might be expected. the draft was useful (i'm usre i'll catch hell about this) for one reason - it reached across socio-economic lines and made service something tht all of us faced - not just the poor.

i'm tired today skier - sorry - otherwise i would say more

You cannot conceive the many without the one.


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/28/2006 3:18 pm:
There are many types of service that could be done. I personally like Americorps...I don't even know if it exists anymore...but, we need to require all 18 year olds to serve for at least two years...It might lead to some humility and understanding...The arrogance of the "entitled" is too much.

RevJoseyWales 70M/67F
14393 posts
8/28/2006 2:15 pm

Personally, I favor universal military/social service, along the lines of the Isrealis. At 18, everyone, regardless of socio-economic status must spend two years in service to our nation. Be it military, whatever, everyone serves, no exceptions. When released, you then do reserve status, much like the Army Reserve and National Guard does now. Having been drafted and then serving a total of 17 years, I obviously think highly of our military, and of the benefits of seervice. It taught me leadership, responsibility, and team work; The Army took in a boy and returned a man. I am personally proud of anyone who choses to voluntarily serve in the military. It is not the easiest road to chose, but can become a honorable calling.

I find it more than a little obscene that so many of our members of congress have NEVER served, IN FACT ACTIVELY AVOIDED THE DRAFT OR ANY ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE. (And yes, being awol is even worse) But yet they non-chalantly sent the children of others into harms way.

On being anti-military. Please remember that the military DOES NOT make policy, it only follows the orders of the civilian leadership. Do not mistake our military for our politicians, and do not blame our troops for the mistakes of the politicos. Our troops deserve better. As you now know, they are our friends, our brothers and sister, sons and daughters. Instead, thank them and give them all the honor due for their sacrifices. Joe

"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/28/2006 3:21 pm:
Joe, thanks so much for coming over.

I think it's more than obscene that our leaders have not served, nor have any of their immediate family served. I would like to see at least a draft requirement for all children of all public officials...they would then think twice about use of our military.

I also think universal service should be mandatory...Most of our military is made up of middle and lower classes. It's become a badge of dishonor to serve and we need to change this paradigm.

I'm personally ashamed of my own attitude towards people who have chosen to serve. My son has helped me see the light on this. I may not agree with how our military is being used, but I'm so proud of the young men and women who choose to serve...Many of them could be doing something else, but they aren't.

Joe, I wanted your perspective on this post and am pleased that you provided it. Again, thanks for coming by.

rm_shannee2006 53F
3355 posts
8/28/2006 3:38 pm

It's fun to come back and read what others have said about this subject. ..

I have to agree with fastfifties. I think that the Isreali government is likely wise to have a mandatory military service of all citizens over the age of 18. I'd serve if that was the law and do so proudly...but I wouldn't be good at using that gun to kill someone. I wouldn't be the right person for the front lines because the man next to me wouldn't be able to depend on me....and I'm not the only person like that. I'd probably be support personnel.

Regardless, I believe that being a warrior is a sacred task and that each man or woman who serves deserves my honor and respect....and I give it.

I disagree with you though, fastfifties, about it being the politicians fault that policy is not what it should be. It's the American public's fault.

Yup...this juiciness is from me....

S


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/29/2006 8:10 am:
I would say it's both of ours fault...The people for taking a free pass and the politicians for not showing leadership.

RevJoseyWales 70M/67F
14393 posts
8/28/2006 4:28 pm

If the American public had anything at all to do with our national policies, I'd agree with you, Shanee. But the fact is, we really don't have any control over what the politicos do. The only thing we CAN do is hold them accountable, which I hope and pray we will do starting this November.

And not everyone wpould have to serve in a combat possible role. There are MANY thing that we need to do in this country, and Universal Service would give us the manpower to make a lot of positive changes. I guarentee you it would change the attitude of the younger generations involved.

Always remember everyone, supporting our troops IS NOT the same as supporting the current regime or it's policies. Every trooper over there is just like you and I. They ARE you and I. I despise this war, I despise those who corruptly and foolishly led us into it, but I will ALWAYS stand behind my brothers and sisters in the field, 100%. And a salute to your son skier. From an old grunt to a young one. Carry ON. Joe

"McVeigh had the right idea, wrong address."

"This ain't Dodge City, and you ain't Bill Hickok."


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/29/2006 8:12 am:
Joe, thanks for the salute. I'll pass it on...Unfortunately, I don't think a change in regime will have any affect on this topic...lots of other topics, but not this one...Neither side has shown any willingness except for Americorps to push universal service...and, that's too bad.

catkit13 68F

8/28/2006 5:12 pm

many, if not most, of us who are against the wars our country is waging, DO blame the old white men in power, but [unlike the vietnam era] do NOT blame those wonderful men and women serving our country. your son sounds like a remarkable young man . . . he remains in my thoughts, as do the thousands of others who served, who are serving now, and/or who will be serving
your friend in the desert,
cat


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/29/2006 8:13 am:
He is a remarkable young man...thanks.

catkit13 68F

8/28/2006 5:14 pm

    Quoting rm_shannee2006:
    I totally agree with all your points about sacrifice and service. Our citizens have come to expect whatever is given to them and they are undereducated about how to survive with out luxuries....

    However, there are people sacrificing who don't have family serving in the military. It's the millions of children in our public school systems, the teachers who don't get paid above a poverty level wage to teach them, the millions of our seniors who aren't getting proper health care because of medicare cuts (let me remind you that they grew up being told to believe in the system and that it was set up to take care of them...so they've relied on it and now it's too late to have planned differently) and those millions of people who depend on their health care and other subsistence income such as foster children who are now being denied counseling because of budget cuts. Now how could anyone deny counseling to foster kids!!!?

    These people are considered the leeches on society...or at least not important enough to concern ourselves with...and let's get it straight that WE are the government. WE are allowing the officials to make these decisions and pass these laws which make cuts to budgets that cannot afford the loss of another dime.

    The fact is that those who can afford SUV's and humungous houses are not making any sacrifices here unless they have someone in the service...and they gripe about every penny spent. And that's not my money resentment talking here...it's reality.

    I do get angry about the have's acting like the have not's are out to milk them dry. It's the people they've put in charge and their own lazines that keeps their tax dollars from working for them as they'd like...social programming is not what's killing the budget...it's been proven that we can eliminate the deficit and have thriving social programs, so that's just horseshit if anyone bring that argument to bear. No it's the defense budget, officials salaries and theft of government money that's killing our budget.

    I have alot of anger about situations like that. Situations that most people don't even give a shit about or that they figure they can do nothing about...despite the fact that we are talking about human beings and social responsiblity. People get up in arms over natural disaster victims, but they don't give a shit about who they share the road with, that they share a country with, that live down the road from them. They were horrified by the results of Katrina...but the way the government acted about that has been going on a damned long time...it was just revealed for the first time for all to see in all it's horrific glory. And everyone is outraged. They should be just as outraged by all the other people who are on the same recieving end of that crap in every where middle America as well...the old people eating cat food and stuffing their whole houses with newspaper because they can't afford heat or their medications...the teachers who are taking money out of their own family budget because they can't look at children who need notebooks for their school work each day and not make sure they have them...or the foster kids who've been through hell who aren't going to get counseling any more because of budget cuts.

    So I definitely think there's a sacrifice that's been demanded...and without asking I might add...of over 60% of the population of this country...and it's going to effect our future. We are already seeing the ignorance and hopelessness of doing this to our school system and our elderly and under privileged for the past 30 years...and it's just not okay.

    If a society looses respect for some part of itself it rots from the inside out. It's that simple.

    I believe that what your son is doing is principled and right. I admire him and admire his courage and applaud your recognition of his wisdom and courage...and applluad your recognition of this attitude of entitlement.

    I think it's had much wider impact than you are aware of and that it's cause a tremendous amount of suffering as a result.
well said!
cat


rm_shannee2006 53F
3355 posts
8/29/2006 6:51 am

Honni, amen to that!!

Yup...this juiciness is from me....

S


rm_songbird5419 63F
305 posts
8/29/2006 7:00 pm

It seems as though everyone commenting is basically on the same page. If there were a universal obligation akin to that of the Israelis, just think how much good could have been done in other parts of society. Maybe some of those urban terrorists about which Skier spoke in an earlier blog would be productive members of society because there might have been staffed programs for them to participate in after school....fancy that!!! Just a thought!!

If you are strong and push through the pain and the fear, you often find that happiness is waiting for you on the other side.


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/30/2006 6:05 am:
I've been feeling that all of us want to improve our society. Kids in my children's generation want to help. But, we've taken away their ability to solve their own problems by scheduling their lives. Having universal service would get them away from their parents and allow the experience helping other people and how good that will make them feel about themselves....It might even help our country get back on track. Thanks.

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