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Op-ed column

Every level of society should serve when country is at war

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Years before he was to be elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Virginia and when he was still very much a Reagan Republican, Jim Webb — who as a Marine rifle platoon and company commander in Vietnam had earned the Navy Cross, a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts — condemned the total separation of Americans in power in Washington from Americans in mortal peril in the Persian Gulf. ...


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comments

biwemple
March 19, 2013
10:59 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

War Powers Act ought to be amended to have a requirement that after XX days, if Congress acts to declare war, a draft immediately goes into effect with it. Either make sure the crisis is over quickly, or the country goes all in. Even if draftees never make it to deployment, the enormous cost of simply calling them up and interrupting their lives should give pause to Congress to go quickly into a war. Those 'sons (and daughters now) of affluence' should have to shoulder the same burdens without exceptions. Even if declared 4F, or whatever medical reason is used now, they can still serve in national service as a non-combatant role (medical, transport, logistics, etc). Educational deferments should be prohibited as well.

tplansing
April 29, 2013
1:32 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Biwimple, I have to agree with you, and bu the way, this article is excellent! A lot of people could learn a lot from this...especially our governmental leaders. I was drafted in June of1972, and sent to Fort Dix, NJ for basic training. I admit I wasn't really ready to be sent to Viet Nam, but I would do what I was told to do, and like it! Whether I did or not! After basic I was sent to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for Basic Medical Training. I had apparently won that lottery too or gotten too high a grade on the test battery to be an MP which is what I wanted to do in my career in the Army. At that time, life expectancy of a medic in country, in Viet Nam was suppose to be like 6 seconds. But again, I would do what I was told to do. Fortunately, when the time came, I was sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana, at the time it was also known as Little Viet Nam. The training grounds for those who were going over to the various ground bases in Viet Nam. The conditions over there were exactly like Viet Nam, every poisonous snake around, swamps, and a few alligators thrown in just for fun, along with all the heat and humidity one could ever stand. But you learned to survive, adapt and overcome in any way possible. If for nothing else, so you could say, I served my country, with your head held high. Sure, you went back to your barracks covered in someone's blood, or something else, but you did what you had to do to keep that soldier healthy, or help put them back together, and sew them up, to keep them together.

You did what you had to do, to keep those soldiers alive. No medals, pats on the back, awards, just go back to the barracks, get some sleep and get up the next day and do it all over again, for 8 hours a day on duty days. Your off days, you did what you had to do, plus try to catch up on rest.

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