Maybe everybody should feel a draft
Nobody has been forced into U.S. military service in almost a half century. So what about those persistent calls for everyone to step up and do work for us all?
There’s a history of public service in America. But should we draft people into it? (Photo: The Library of Congress on Visualhunt)
Every guy my age can still tell you what his draft lottery number was. Mine was 171, near the middle of the pool of the draft eligible. It was a lucky draw: Because the Vietnam war was winding down that year, the military got all the soldiers it needed by drafting people with lower numbers. I got to finish school and get a job.
Nobody I know who served in Vietnam would say that they enjoyed it, but plenty of military veterans cherish their years in the service in retrospect. Maybe they’ll tell you that the military made them grow up, or that it broadened their view of life beyond the narrow roads around their hometowns, which a lot of their friends never left. You know, they met people and experienced life they never would have encountered. And there’s this: People who have served the United States of America — and not only in the military, I mean — seem to …