Youth seems such a distant
memory now, yet it seems like only yesterday that I sat on the
corner billboard just above the Snack Shack trying to contemplate
just where my future was going to take me. I had just graduated from
high school and after the parties and the elation had waned I came
back to the same stark realization that my future did not seem as
rosy as I had thought it would be once I was out of school. Like
ninety percent of the gals and guys that had graduated in the years
before me, I knew that I would have to leave my small home town to
In a moment an army recruiter who had seen two of my brothers take
the plunge into military service came by and after a few minutes I
decided that this was at least a job for the next three years. This
same recruiter had also graduated from my school back in the late
thirties. He had visited my school a couple of times and we had
talked before. I said a quick goodbye to my mother and I was off.
I served in Germany for most of my term and did not see combat. When
I got out we were just starting to send advisors in to try to teach
the South Vietnamese modern combat. I thought that would be about as
far as we would go in that theater of operation. After all we had a
whole United Nations to take care of that little country which was
not much bigger than New Jersey. Boy was I wrong. It wasn’t long
before we had committed our full military contingency and treasury
into another shooting war.
Everyone had heard and repeated the phrase that World War One was
the war to end all wars. That only worked until the Thirties when
Germany and Japan decided they would take over the world. America
did not want to get into that one just like we didn’t want to get
into the first one, but we did and it seems that since then we have
been part of and footed the bill for just about every outbreak of
hostilities around the globe. The only things we have come away with
from any of these military endeavors, since World War II, is a flat
pocketbook and another lost generation of young men.
This country has given the lives of over a million of those young
men. Another recorded one million wounded. This does not take into
account the hundreds of thousands of young men who came back with
mental and physical disabilities that are not reported in
statistics. Many of these young men are not able to re-establish any
kind of relationship with employers or personal contacts.
Now we are committed to trying to keep enough of the population in
two Arab countries to keep their opium fields productive and the oil
fields in Iraq out of the hands of our other arch-enemies. This is
the first time in history when we were not wanted by anyone in the
countries we occupy.
It would appear that the standing military force, which was
established to protect the United States of America has and is being
used to protect every country in the world except the United States
of America. We have two borders with thousands of miles of open
border for the enemies of this country to pour across and not one
soldier to protect it. We have gangs of drug lords on the southern
border who have taken American soil hostage and not one soldier to
protect the citizens of these areas.
It is bad enough that our country is wasting generations of young
men, wouldn’t it seem that common sense would dictate that we
protect our country first?