04 September 2013

Those Who Serve Our Nation

Hello, good morning.  As usual, while watering the garden, ideas come to mind that I feel compelled to share, and ask what folks think.  I do realize that the perspective of the co-resident owners of my property, both permanent and nomadic (e.g.  cats, trees, bushes, flowers, edibles, lizards, birds, beetles, moths, grasshoppers, and the very few bees and butterflies compared to years past)  for whom I am caretaker, may be somewhat different than that of people, which is why I like to solicit the opinions of people other than myself.   So, here goes. 

This is about current events . . .  specifically we might be able to most effectively influence our legislative body when it is being tasked to make a decision about the possibility of our nation engaging in an additional theatre of combat:  reinstate the draft - a universal draft.

Most of the folks in government who are supposed to be, collectively, representing our best interests, have not served in the military.  So how is it that without that experience we can trust them, indeed how can they trust themselves, to be making decisions about going to war, especially when not taking into consideration what we, the people  have to say about engaging in what is little different in nature to folks in government than a remote geopolitical chess games that uses our troops and the targeted potential victims, as pawns? 

It's not o.k. for a choice to enter combat to be made by these folks who are focusing in on the big picture of geopolitical issues associated with hoped for political gain for our nation, by defining those issues based on what is a faulty foundation of sketchy information that does not provide enough necessary facts, all together, to justify the assumptions being made upon which they are being tasked to make a decision.

I have a solution that should result in the processes associated with considering any kind of combat, being far more likely to rely only on verified facts  along with the altruistic wisdom of those tasked by we, the people to make life and death decisions which will affect our nation, and the world in some way or another, for many decades to come - like combat always does. 

Briefly, during the time I served, the military was working on  fixing the problems that had been identified during the Viet-Nam era.  As a result, one of those goals was for the military to be more family friendly, more family oriented, because after all it is entire families who are affected by the life of the service member.  So, acknowledgement of the importance of families resulted in more consideration of and support for military families who deal with unique challenges that must be handled properly when the service member is away or serving in combat.  And it is very clear there was amazing progress in reaching that goal.

So, here's my suggestion.  Even with all the new technology being used on the battlefields, virtual and otherwise, we still need bodies, lots of bodies proportional to the amount of combat and occupying in which our military is simultaneously tasked by civilians, to engage.  Among the steps that could be taken to help in that respect, would be to reinstate the draft.  And in so doing it would also become mandatory for the children, grandchildren, or in some cases great-grandchildren of folks serving in government, to also serve a term of enlistment in the military.  Every able bodied  young man and woman in our nation within the specified age range who meets the specified standards, who has not yet served, needs to be required by law to sign up for a reinstated draft - period, end of sentence.  Of course bona fide exemptions must be defined and applied with less arbitrary favoritism than previously.

I guarantee it would induce our legislators to be more careful about how they make decisions to go to war, and to more seriously consider the reality of the lack of wisdom in going to war, especially when it is not an act of defense, but instead unjustified aggression. 

Reinstating the draft ought to also serve the purpose of many more citizens actually doing our collective job of being participatory citizens, in addition to voting, by educating ourselves about issues, questioning what does not sound right, discussing the issues with others, and taking our legislators to task by repeatedly requesting, as much as necessary, the accountability we, the people deserve from them, until we get it in ways that are actually satisfactory, rather than evasive and/or misleading.

Draft you might be thinking?  Sure, no.   Americans would not like to see the draft reinstated, and I'm one of them.  I have able-bodied nieces and nephew of draft age whom I love dearly, and I do not want them to be drafted, nor extended family, friends, neighbors . . . in general, fellow Americans.  But when there is no end in sight to the need for troops, then there really is no other choice is there? 

If there is to be no reinstatement of the draft then at least government needs to be more family oriented regarding folks who serve in government.  Instead of reinstating the draft let's simply make it mandatory for the children, grandchildren, or in some cases great-grandchildren of folks serving in government, to serve a term of enlistment in the military if they have not already done so  - every able bodied last young man and woman of them, within the specified age range who meets the specified standards. 

Could there be a more heartwarming and supportive gesture in support of the folks serving in government, than to have their family members and other loved ones serve in the military, like Vice President and Dr. Biden's do?   It would demonstrate a belief in the wisdom of the difficult decisions the folks who serve in government must make.