Military service poll : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I did a little research today on the military service of each president since FDR. Of course FDR was a parapalegic and could not serve in the military. Here's what I found.

Truman - Served 37 years in the Missouri National Guard, WW I service, rose from Private to Col.

Eisenhower - Supreme Allied Commander, Western European theater in WW II. Not remembered as a great strategist, but played a crucial role keeping the alliance together.

Kennedy - US Navy junior officer in WW II. Gained hero status from the PT 109 episode.

Johnson - US Navy staff officer. Awarded the Silver Star from combat missions flown as an observer on naval aircraft during WW II.

Nixon - US Navy officer who spent the WW II overseeing construction of airstrips in the Pacific.

Ford - US Navy junior officer who served on an aircraft carrier.

Carter - US Navy nuclear submarine service.

Reagan - Army Air Corps in WW II. Made training films.

Bush the elder - At one point the Navy's youngest naval aviator. Shot down and rescued during WW II.

Clinton - Draft dodger during the Vietnam War. Wrote a letter expressing a "loathing" of his country's military.

Bush the younger - Air National Guard F-102 pilot.

We have a mixture of democrats and republicans, heavy on the Navy, some serving with distinction with others doing their parts as anonymous pieces of the war machine. All but one gained honor simply by wearing the uniform.

I've been speaking to my boy about military service. At this point he's not interested, but he did say that if drafted he'd do his part. That raised a question in my mind.

In the HIGHLY unlikely event of a draft, how many on this board would encourage their children to serve? How many would encourage their children to dodge? Poll time!

-- Anonymous, June 17, 2004


For the record, I did serve back in the day. As we used to say, I was not in the military, I was in the Navy. In fact, I earned a NROTC scholarship from the Fleet. However, though I would do my duty when called upon and would gladly honor my oath to protect my country, that is not why I enlisted. I went into the Navy to get as much education and schooling that I could. That was in 1955. Remember the armed services were integrated in 1948. I was guaranteed a job in the Electronic Field but when I arrived in Boot camp, they tried to make me a Steward or a Cook. I had to take the test again because they did not believe my score. I bring my story up because the main recruiting tool evn today is the lure of guaranteed college funds after military tour. As we have seen in most areas of the country, the miltary is the only way out for many poor youth. Unemployment last time I checked is rampant in the minority community, in the high 20%. One of these kids was buried last week in Springfield, MA. The fine print to the recruiting promise is "if you make it through 4 years". This Brother did not. The important thing is that he gladly served our country although that was not his main reason for joining. He wanted to go to college and saw this as a way to do it. There are New England National Guard units in Iraq. Several have had their tour extended. One unit leaves this week for an 18 month tour of duty. Most of these people joined the Guard for economic reasons. Before Iraq, it was a good extra finance opportunity that was a safe choice. That is how the recruiting advertising is focused. In past years many joined the Guard to avoid Vietnam. In some places, they only way to get into the Guard was to have a connections. They did not "dodge" but legally got out of serving in 'Nam. I would not encourage my daughters to join the miltary but if they were drafted, they would go. I would not encourage dodging. I know several guys that went to Canada and it was a poor choice. I don't know why the list is heavy with Navy guys. The recruiting tool has been, "Join the Navy to see the world". The Navy had the best schools at the time that I went in. That was my rationale. I even had the privilege to serve on the USS FDR CVA42.

-- Anonymous, June 18, 2004


My father served, I served, and my son is serving (USAF).

In Christ

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2004

Let's add a realistic caveat to Bush the younger as it was put. Was a National Guard pilot when he could be found. I understand that are discrepancies about his reporting. Did he gain honor by avoiding stateside service probably for you, not for me. Perhaps if he had served in Vietnam he would not be embroiled in Iraq today.

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2004

First, 20 years United States Air Force. Second, let's be real: Approximately 1500 F-105 Fighter-Bombers were shot down over North Viet Nam. If you had a choice of flying F-105s droping bombs on North Viet Nam or flying F-102s defending the skies over Texas, which would you choose? If you choose F-105s, consider the Story of Col. Cherry: Shot down over North Viet Nam on his last mission (which he did not have to fly; they would have given him an easier one had he chosen); imprisoned for the duration. While in prison, his wife had a baby by her live-in lover, spent all his money that the Air Force paid; tried to get him declared dead, etc. What is yoour choice?

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2004

Pastor Al:

You win! However let me extend my apologies to RP for taking the thread off course. With regard to military service, I would be adamantly opposed to any form of a draft. If young people choose military careers that is fine, however to subject someone to serve in political wars such as the Iraqi conflict is abhorrent to me. If the draft was established to provide humanpower for an Iraqi freedom mission like the present one I would certainly aid my children in exhausting every legal method to avoid military service.

My heart goes out to every family who has lost a loved one in this tragic mistake of a war. These were honorable men and women who trusted a government which was either misled or blatantly lied and in either case the Commander in Chief Bush should be ashamed.

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2004

Brother Gibson,

Upon reading your post, my heart swelled with a ferocious rebuke for your comments. But I will relent. Suffice it to say that every man is given ample opportunity to reassess the words that he spends recklessly, and positions that he holds precariously.

In Love,

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2004

Brother Harris:

Whatever did I say that caused your heart to swell with ferocious rebuke? I simply do not believe in this war. I never have. My heart grieves mightily for those who have lost loved ones in Iraq because they went there with good intentions, to restore a sense of security. Saddam has been captured but there is no peace in Iraq and recent reports once amended for the truth show terrorist activities higher than ever.

For every young man and young woman who desires this career I applaud their efforts. My heart bleeds for those who take this track out of desperation and find themselves on the battlefield.

If you feel this cause is worth the sacrifice of your son, then I have no qualms about that. I pray for his safe and healthy return. However, I don't feel this way and I would fight any draft for this purpose with every once of strength the Good Lord would allow.

-- Anonymous, June 23, 2004

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