Monday, September 24, 2012


When I was drafted into the United States Army in 1951 the Korean War was taking a heavy toll of American lives.

Before the war ended in 1953, more than 33,000 young Americans had been killed and another 107,000 were seriously wounded.

During my 16 weeks of basic training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia (8 weeks of infantry training and 8 weeks of combat engineer training), I watched as the Army started to eliminate basic elements from training for Army companies that were behind my company.

For example: Bayonet and hand-to-hand combat training was eliminated and yet everyone knew bayonet attacks and hand-to-hand battles were going on all over Korea.

As part of the engineer training, the Army did away with bridge building, road building and airport building which were a very important part of what a combat engineer does in a theater of war.

Also, the Army eliminated physical and mental requirements for draftees and so the new recruits were many times grossly overweight and many of them had severe mental problems.

Why do I mention all of this?

If you have been following the upcoming election as close as I do, you would know Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are taking nothing off the table including military action against Iran, Syria and possibly even North Korea.

Both Romney and Ryan have surrounded themselves with "hawks" from the Bush/Cheney administration to run their foreign policy if they are elected. All of these foreign policy "experts" are itching to start another war and even expand the war in Afghanistan.

Obama, on the other hand, has been criticized for dealing with these foreign governments by using diplomacy and sanctions instead of boots on the ground.

As many of you know, I have been writing a blog about the wars in the Middle East and everything I have read and printed has to do with how our military is spread to the breaking point and that is why some soldiers are on their fourth and fifth tour to Afghanistan. In short, we don't have enough people joining the all volunteer military and we have to keep sending the same troops back to Afghanistan.

The stress on our ground forces is seen by the number of cases of PTSD that is rising and a suicide rate that has spiked to the point where one out of every six returning GIs take their own lives.

The bottom line is we cannot get into another war without re-instating the military draft. That means that if you have young children or grandchildren, boys and girls, who will be military age soon then under a Romney/Ryan administration they would more than likely be drafted for a minimum of two years of active duty service in the military.

The most dreaded word you could see on your orders after completing basic training in 1951 was: FECOM. What that meant is you were assigned to the Far East Command which meant you were being shipped to Korea.

I hope you and everyone takes this upcoming election very seriously because if you vote for Romney and Ryan you can expect more wars to breakout and with more wars will come a need for more troops and that is when they will have to re-instate the military draft.

Thanks for reading this and pass it on if you care to.

No comments: