It's likely that young people today can't imagine a draft. But many of us older folks remember it well.
In the Vietnam era, for instance, young men had difficulty finding jobs as they awaited the notice from the draft board. No one wanted to hire someone who was about to be called away for years of military service.
Females weren't drafted.
Now, we have an all-volunteer military. But for how long.
Decisions made by self-involved politicians are just as effective in war as they are in government. Telling the enemy when you are leaving, for instance, or cutting the number of boots on the ground can go far in denying a victory earned through blood and sweat.
Since 9/11, we've thrown American men and women into battle without the equipment needed to protect them. We sent them on too many and too long deployments and when they came home injured, we cut off their pay because they can no longer fight. We take years to complete the paperwork needed for their care and benefits and rely on the kind hearts of strangers to support our wounded warriors.
Tens of thousands of American men and women have never come home from battle. Do we care? National POW/MIA Recognition Day was held last Friday to honor and remember these heroes. One local ceremony was held, in Townsend. A dozen people went.
It's impossible to say what our military needs will be in the future. Our military is being downsized and its budgets cut. Will that help or harm us?
We can't help but wonder if an all-volunteer military will continue to fill our needs. Given the political decisions of the last decade, only surprise will meet sufficient enlistments.
Perhaps only when the politicians' flesh and blood answer the call will we appropriately honor and respect the one percent that stands up for the rest.