As a young man, I received one of the last of the old Vietnam-era draft cards. President Nixon had ended the actual draft, but people still had to register. I joined the service anyway but if someone had asked me then or even 20 years ago what I had thought of military conscription, I would have opposed it. I though military service should be voluntary. In the past decade, however, I have reexamined that position.
Today's "all volunteer" military certainly includes many patriotic young people but has also become a force which many people who do not have other opportunities join for a job or educational benefits. People who already have those opportunities do not have to join if they do not want to. For instance, very few members of Congress have children serving, at least in the enlisted ranks. Those who make decisions to send our kids to war often do not assume the personal risk of losing a child. If the children of the rich and politicians were at equal risk, would those in power think twice before putting our troops in harm's way?
During the Vietnam War, people were asking questions, including the soldiers themselves. One of the stories of the antiwar movement often covered up in history books is the "G.I. Movement" where vets as well as active duty members of the military were protesting that war. That is why the military "brass" opposes renewed conscription. Today they can say "hey, remember you signed up for it."
Any new draft would have to be fair. The Vietnam Era draft was far from equitable because if you had money or connections, it was easy to avoid going to Southeast Asia. Today, when people think of draft evaders, they think of antiwar activists who burned their draft cards and fled to Canada. In reality, most who avoided going to Vietnam did so legally, like former President Bill Clinton.
For instance, if you stayed in college for four years and maintained a C- average, you could receive a deferment. If you could afford your own sympathetic doctor or psychiatrist and not rely on those at the induction center, you could be declared unfit to serve.
If you had the right connections, there was even a way to actually serve and to claim that service in a future political career while being virtually assured you would not have to serve in Vietnam. That was by joining the National Guard. The National Guard in the 60s and 70s was very different than the Guard today which is regularly deployed. Then, very few Guard units were sent to Vietnam. Everyone knew that and so there were long waiting lists to join. But, if you had connections, you could "jump the line." Examples include former President George W. Bush who joined the Texas Air Guard and was even AWOL from his drills.
Another was former Vice President Dan Quayle whose father was a friend of the adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard. When Mr. Quayle was in college and other students were protesting the war, he was in favor of the war. But, instead of Quayle volunteering for combat, his dad "pulled strings" to get him into the Guard and Mr. Quayle avoided putting his own life on the line.
As a result, a large percentage of those who served, died, and were wounded in Vietnam were members of minority groups as well as the working-class and the poor. If we were to reinstitute the draft, it would have to be different and fair. Both men and women would be subject to conscription. Every politician's child would equally share the risks due to political decisions. Let students finish their semester but do not let them avoid conscription for four years.
Even better: what would be wrong with compulsory national service for all young people that would not necessarily have to be military service? It would certainly let everyone "give back" to their country.
(E. Scott Cracraft is a U.S. citizen, taxpayer, veteran, and resident of Gilford.)
Last Updated on Monday, 13 October 2014 05:24
To The Daily Sun,
As a senior, money is tight these days, so I wanted to say thank you to VIP.
I had some repairs that needed to be done on my car. The price they gave me was for one hour of labor. I found out that it took seven hours, but they still honored the original price.
Tears of joy! Thank you!
Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 09:54
To The Daily Sun,
Laconia High School "recognizes the value of the PSAT" as the recognized best practice for the SATs. As such, they have paid for juniors to take the national test.
What a wonderful testament to the commitment our administrators have to current Laconia High School students and offering the strongest encouragement to matriculate to college. Thank you for making an investment in our children's future and setting the bar ever higher for LHS students.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 09:49
To The Daily Sun,
On Monday morning, Oct. 6, at approximately 12:30 a.m., the Franklin Police and Fire Departments responded to South Main Street (Route 3 South near the Daniel Webster Farm) for a serious vehicle crash. Within minutes of arriving it was determined that one of the drivers was deceased in the vehicle. It took rescuers near 15 minutes to extricate the second driver from his heavily damaged vehicle. This second driver is expected to make a full recovery.
In the vehicle of the deceased was a frightened and injured canine. After the incident was stabilized, police and fire crews pondered the best appropriate care for the canine. Crews made attempt for local care however, to no avail at that hour of the day. Knowing that the dog may have serious injuries, the Incident Commander inquired to C.A.V.E.S. (Capital Area Veterinary Emergency Service) if they would accept and treat the injured canine. Even after it was made clear that it was uncertain who would be financially responsible for the dogs care, C.A.V.E.S. staff responded "bring the dog in." Fire Department crews loaded the canine into a firefighter's personal pick-up truck and immediately transported the dog to C.A.V.E.S. in Concord.
In days that followed the incident, C.A.V.E.S. management staff reported that the canine was identified through her microchip as Maggie. C.A.V.E.S. staff also identified that Maggie's lower jaw was fractured and needed surgery to implant two steel plates. While still receiving tender loving care at C.A.V.E.S. four days after the incident, Maggie is expected to make a full recovery.
Even though it is undetermined where Maggie will end up permanently or if her medical bills will ever be paid, there is one thing that is certain: The Franklin Fire Department is grateful for the brisk altruistic care that C.A.V.E.S. has provided in this incident.
Thank you C.A.V.E.S.
Franklin Fire Department
Kevin LaChapelle, Chief
Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 09:45
To The Daily Sun,
President Obama tries to shade his eyes from the bright light of reality as he wallows in the darkness of his arrogant, progressive madness. How to divert this country's attention away from all of his denials, deflections, distractions and diversions? The political Baryshnikov of our time pivots again, but then really steps in it.
Remember not so long ago when our dear leader assured us that this ISIS bunch was just a jayvee team? Remember way back to last Sunday when he blamed his intelligence agencies for underestimating that jayvee team? John McCain, Lindsey Graham and other politicians had read the long-ago written memos alerting our president about the cancerous growth of this Islamic terrorist threat and brought it to his attention. Did Valerie Jarrett, Samantha Powers and Susan Rice tell him to hit the links and not worry so much? Did they even need to do so? Don't worry about missing so many security briefings, Mr. President. We will keep you apprised of any real threats to our national security. Is that what they were telling him? He certainly wasn't listening to our top field commanders who have been outraged and incensed at his disregard for their expertise.
But now our president has assured us that he has a bold and brilliant plan to defeat the Islamic State and he has complete confidence that the CDC has total control over the Ebola outbreak and it will pose no threat to our beloved homeland. Oh wait, no not really. It was time for another Fred Astaire-like pivot. President Obama went to Northwestern University to insist to the American people that he deserves credit for our much improved economy. Yes indeed, he said that by every economic measure, it is indisputable that we all are just so much better off. Say what Mr. President? Did you fall off the balance beam?
Here are some sobering facts for all of us to ponder. Contrast these figures from Jan. 2009 to now: National debt $10.6 trillion to $17.8 trillion; median income $56,696 to $54,045; labor participation rate 65.7 percent to 62.8 percent (lowest since the late 1970s Carter era); home ownership 67.5 percent to 64.7 percent; food stamps 32 million to 46 million. Not to mention the astronomic rise in the disability roles. Hey, please keep this under your hat.
The top 5 percent have become richer while the middle class has grown poorer. Yet, the progressive, liberal politicians bemoan the greedy rich while their voters meekly nod their head in adoring approval, clueless to the absurdity of this contradictory message.
A worldwide medical emergency has emerged while our president has implemented a catch-and-release policy for the hordes of illegal immigrants entering our southern border; this in lieu of the outright amnesty he has promised after the November elections. Islamic terrorists have infiltrated our borders while social media outlets help recruit the disgruntled among us, especially those inside our prisons. Our president's answer has been a desire to try terrorists in American courtrooms, setting imaginary red lines in Syria, giving more flexibility to Russia, Benghazi massacre and cover-up, bombing and leaving Libya and endorsing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Our borders, language, culture and educational system are being destroyed while our national defense is being decimated by liberal, progressive policies. The fundamental transformation of our constitutional republic draws near, threatening most everything we hold dear.
Do folks really want this group of radical central planners to take care of them? Do you think Thomas Jefferson, one of the smartest leaders this country has ever had, would approve of the direction this country is headed right now? How would he direct us out of this corrupt, bureaucratic growth of soft tyranny? Oh how he would chastise us for our tepid and lackluster response to the anti-capitalist and anti-constitutional left.
Our president recently assured us that the November midterm election is a referendum on the economy and his "policies are on the ballot, every single one of them." I think I know what President Jefferson would want us to do on Nov. 4.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 09:35