Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

All Volunteer Military

I was enjoying dinner recently following a wedding, engaged in discussions on politics, religion and “The War.” I know these are taboo topics in polite company, and you’re probably thinking I would do well to avoid such controversial, not to mention volatile, subjects.

Well, if you’re not discussing religion, politics, or war, then you’re probably talking about the weather, or somebody’s grandkids. And that will only take you so far. I enjoy lively, spirited discussions on such topics. Every evening at home while growing up, current events were discussed in the kitchen while dinner was being prepared. You quickly learned to defend your position, or remain silent. It was great fun!

So, I’m sitting with a group of people I’ve never met before, enjoying the wedding feast, and animatedly engaged in discussion with my table-mates. One lady had remained quiet early on, but finally chimed in. She said she was against the war in Iraq all along, and was particularly concerned that her nineteen year old son would be in danger. I asked her if her son was in the military. She said no. I replied, “Then you have nothing to worry about.” She said, “But they could bring back the draft.”

Allow me to present to you this nagging issue of the draft. There is no draft. Period. Even if there was a move to reinstate the draft, it would take a significant amount of time to get those wheels rolling. But just so you know, here’s what the home page of the Selective Service System says (http://www.sss.gov/):

On October 5, 2004, the House of Representatives voted 402 - 2 to defeat H.R. 163, the bill cited as proof that the Selective Service was preparing to reinstate a military draft. The vote made official what has been a reality since January 7, 2003, when H.R. 163 was introduced despite nearly total opposition in Congress to restoring the draft. Without Congressional support, the draft cannot be reinstated. A similar bill languishes in the Senate.
Both President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry have stated for the record that they oppose a draft. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also has opposed the draft on numerous occasions.

It’s important to remember that Congressman Charlie Rangel, Democrat from New York, introduced HR 163 in January 2003. I’ve frequently heard it said that reinstating the draft was the work of nefarious Republicans. Wrong! Along with Representative Rangel, five other Democrats joined in putting forth this bill before the House of Representatives. Please take note that the vote was 402 – 2. Let’s assume that these six men all voted on this bill that they put forth. Let’s further assume that two of them were the two votes for the passage of the bill. This means four of them voted against it, or else they did not vote at all, which is cowardly at worst, and irresponsible at best (there are 440 members in the House of Representatives).

Do we need a draft? No. As I shared with the lady who was so concerned about her son being drafted, our all volunteer military is doing just fine. Recruitment numbers continue to remain very promising, and military personnel are motivated by the actions our nation is taking to protect America from further terrorist attack, as well as liberating folks from despotic thugs.

Freedom is on the move, my friends. And for that, you can thank our military. An All Volunteer military.

God bless America!

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