Bring Back The Draft?

With the ending of the draft in 1973, young men across the country breathed a sigh of relief that they would not receive the dreaded “Greetings” from the Selective Service System that would require them to serve 2 years active duty in the U.S. Military and another 4 years in the in-active reserves. The end of the draft coincided with the end of America’s involvement in the Viet Nam War, being forced to cut and run and abandon the people of South Viet Nam as they struggled to keep free.

 

I received my own draft notice right after New Years of 1969. For reasons I won’t go into here and now, instead of letting myself be inducted, I went down and enlisted and ended up spending a little over 8 years active duty in the U.S. Army, traveling nearly ¾ of the way around the world. For me, even though I initially did not want to serve, it was an education I would never have gotten. Traveling to foreign lands and seeing other cultures first hand led me to appreciate our own culture even more. It also gave me discipline and a sense of teamwork that I might not have received otherwise.

 

It seems America has all but forgotten the benefits many young men received when they were drafted into the Military between WW2 and the end of the Viet Nam War. As I said above, millions of men received similar educations and discipline, learning how to get along with others and tolerate differences that really don’t matter. It also gave respect for authority and taught many how to lead others without being overbearing or overly demanding.

 

Yes, the down side is when drafted during war many will die in whatever conflict is ongoing. Still, those are in the minority. The “Wall” in Washington D.C. is emblazoned with the names of some 58,000 who died during that conflict. Yet, even though that number appears very large, over 2.5 million Americans served in the country of Viet Nam during the many years of the war. That comes out to about 2%.

 

Today, we are embroiled in another war and once again, anti-war critics are going out of their way to make it as unpopular as ever. We are also facing what can only be defined as an invasion of illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico, to the south of us. Many come just to earn better wages to care for their families. Many others come to take advantage of free benefits. Still others come to join in with groups bent on taking back the Southwestern U.S. for Mexico. In all, the invasion of Illegals is getting out of hand and must be dealt with.

 

Some have proposed a fence be built. I disagree with that idea, having flown the border between East Germany and West Germany and West Germany and Czechoslovakia for nearly 3 years in the early 1970s, after my tours in Viet Nam. A fence makes me envision that fence the Soviet Communist erected, not to keep us out, but to keep their people in. So, I oppose a fence along the entire Southern Border of the United States.

 

However, we do have a Border Patrol that appears to be seriously understaffed. Some have called for our Military to be stationed along the Southern Border, but they are busy now fighting for the freedoms of the Afghani and Iraqi peoples and to snuff out Terrorism as best as can be. Cries of the Military being stretched too thin come to mind and such a deployment would really stretch them too far, I feel.

 

This brings me back to the draft, dreaded as it is. Young men are required to sign up for the Selective Service once they turn 18 years of age now, just in case a draft is ever needed. We have the manpower to patrol the borders sitting right there within the Selective Service system.

 

I propose reinstating the draft and instead of drafting for the Military, draft for the Border Patrol. Draftees can go through Military Basic Training and receive special training in accord with the needs of the Border patrol and then be assigned where needed. As before, a 2-year enlistment would suffice.

 

As before, these young men could also receive an education they won’t get otherwise. As before, it would teach them responsibility and discipline as well as serve our country, something every freedom loving person should be willing to do. If they decided to and met the criteria, they could extend their enlistments and become career Border Patrol Officers, serving alongside Professional Border Patrol Officers, becoming one of them. Many draftees between 1948 and 1973 ended up doing the same and made successful careers out of the Military.

 

While there will always be those who seem to feel they should not have to serve their country or who perform poorly, overall, most who were drafted before did their jobs admirably, simply finishing their 2 year hitch and moving on with their lives, but with a free education and a sense of discipline and respect for authority. I see no reason it wouldn’t work the same draft for the Border Patrol.

 

The adoption of this could result in increased enforcement and protection of our borders as well as return to the civilian sector men who now have a renewed sense of pride in our nation, respect for authority and the discipline needed for raising families and running our communities.

 

Overall, I see a big plus for the country and our citizens.

 

Lew

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