Evidently, President Trump takes great delight in arousing the wrath of main stream media with his tweets. I don’t really understand the premise behind tweeting and I most certainly do not have a blog. The good folks who are even slightly interested in knowing what I think can do so right here in this weekly column. That’s enough for me.
There are people who would prefer that our president not tweet. However, there are several million of us who are following his every word on some sort of electronic device. Personally, I would prefer that he at least attempt to sound somewhat presidential, but not as polished and well rehearsed as our last president.
One of the latest tweet uproars is over his announcement that the military will no longer accept transgender individuals. It also seems that our own U.S. Representative, Vicky Hartzler, is receiving some of the blame for this. I don’t understand how that happened.
I propose that not only should those individuals be included in the armed services, but that all 18-year-olds in this nation be required to give at least two years of service to their country.
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This is a topic that was frequently debated when I was in high school, during the years of the Vietnam War. The backdrop of these debates was the draft, and the lottery system adopted by the Selective Service System back then.
The first drawing was held on Dec. 1, 1969, and had I been of draft age, my number would have been 263. The second year’s number for me would have been 313. During the third year, the year of my eligibility, the drawing was postponed until Aug. 5, 1971.
By that time, I had completed my first year at the University of Missouri. That was the last year that college deferments were available, and I neglected to apply for one. My thought was that if my number came up, so be it. I didn’t want to be drafted, but if I had to go, I would go.
Because of the relative high numbers in the two prior drawings, I was fairly certain that the odds were that I would receive a low number when my time came. So, it’s August of 1971, I don’t have a deferment and I have already enrolled for my sophomore year. To further complicate matters, I’m dating a really cute cheerleader, and I know that she’s to be my future bride.
School and marriage would have to wait until I learned if a stint in the military was in my future. Needless to say, I was quite anxious as the day for the release of the numbers approached. We were hoping for a number larger than 100, as that was about the cut off for those who were called in for a physical. You can imagine my relief when I read that my number was 199.
But, back to the debate — what is wrong with asking our young people of today to serve for a year and a half or two? I can see some real positives for our youth. In the military they would be taught respect for authority, gain responsibility, perhaps acquire direction for a career, and finally, escape overbearing helicopter parents.
It’s been said that the children of today are made of plastic. There are a lot of teens out there today who simply have no direction in their lives. I realize that being a soldier or sailor or airman isn’t for everyone. I didn’t have to serve, but it certainly wouldn’t have hurt me.
I say let’s take all 18-year-olds, regardless of gender (or gender preference), and induct them into active military service. Let them become adults who have earned the right to be called men and women by serving their country and learning to be contributing members of society. Yes, let them become examples for us all, similar to the examples set by the greatest generation.
David Coffelt is a Harrisonville area resident and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.