In the news:

Commentary: National service narrows military-civilian divide

“Less than one-half of one percent of Americans currently serve in uniform, while the 99-plus percent realize the benefit while bearing none of the burden.”

Mark Shields: Now More Than Ever, America Needs Mandatory National Service

“And mandatory two-year national service — civilian or military — is imperative to help us understand the responsibility, as well as the rights, of citizenship and build our connections with our fellow citizens.”


Recommendations for ending the divide:

Stop glorifying military service.

As the decades of undeclared/unwon wars stack up (The Department of Defense track record goes back to 1949.) the greater the cultural urge to glorify people who do, or did time in uniform.

Stop telling us that undeclared/unwon wars overseas are somehow linked to American rights & freedoms.

In some cases, the US Armed Forces provide for our physical security. That’s as good as it gets.

In terms of American rights and freedoms- The Dept. of Defense has no more say than the Dept. of Agriculture.

Many veterans claim to have served to protect American rights & freedoms.

How does this work?

Do the US Armed Forces function as some sort of giant civil rights organization?

Black people were still riding at the back of the bus after the big WWII victory.

Women were not allowed full voting rights at the end of WWI.

Were US troops sent to Vietnam so that Americans could be free to send letters to the editor?

Is there any case in which the US Armed Forces have been sent to distant lands on a mission to protect freedom of speech?

Is protecting freedom of speech even part of training scenarios?

Phase out failed wars that never end.

Get away from the ongoing militarization of American culture.

Some businesses are now setting aside parking for veterans. The designated spots we are talking about here are for all veterans- no requirement Re: earning the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, having any physical disability, etc.

Where are the veterans who don’t want free meals, discounts, head of the line privileges at the airport, etc.

Hey veterans- do you get special parking spots on base? Why move to divide people up into groups of first & second-class citizens away from the base?

This may all be some sort of post-Vietnam guilt at work. The guilt doesn’t seem to work towards ending decades of undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

More here:

Vietnam-Style Body Counts

A Land of Make Believe

Glorifying Military Service During Failed Wars That Never End

Nasty Notes & Veterans Parking


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Beach Day – Ebey’s Landing