Anyone’s Son (or Daughter) Will Do: The Debate of Conscription in America

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I served in the United States Army for 24 years. My service to this country was life transforming, taking me from being a direction-less 18 year old boy and molding me into a mature, responsible adult by the time I hung up my uniform for the last time in 2007. Over the course of my career I trained, mentored, or supervised young Americans from nearly every walk of life or cultural background. Many were like I was when I enlisted; lost and clueless about which direction to take in life. My narrow point of view of military service was that there was no other choice, and, over time, my beliefs were cemented that military service should be mandatory. In its simplest form the military gave me “three hots and a cot,” but, on a grander scale, it paid me well, taught me a valuable skill, and turned me into a proponent of military service for all. The battle rages from coast to coast, however, with the condition that the country and its economy is in, the expanding threat of terrorism, and the specter of multi-theater wars, I strongly feel, and would support by vote, the reinstatement of compulsory military service in the United States.
There has been no military draft in the United States since 1973. In regards to why I believe unemployment rates should be a driving force behind reinstating the draft, the statistics I uncovered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics make sense. In 1973, when the draft officially ended, the American unemployment rate was 4.9%. In 2012 it was 8.1%. What better way to reduce unemployment than to give young men and women a full time job, with great health care benefits, and the promise of learning a valuable trade. Since then the country has depended on an all-volunteer force to fight our conflicts and protect o...

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... be attacked and be sorry that we did not urge our political leaders to take action in our national defense.
The perfect world would be free of war. Another perfect world would be an America that did not have amnesia and quickly forgot lessons of our not too distant past. But that is what America does and unfortunately it depends on which party has power in the government. Lessons like moments in history when we were at our weakest defense posture such as pre- World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and September 11th should remind us that the best defense will always be a good offense. America cannot have a good offense without a strong enough military to protect our national interests and to ensure our continued way of life. Everyone should have to contribute and compulsory military service in the United States will preserve our free society and pursuit of happiness.

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