Letters to the Editor

Time to serve

Finally, someone of authority has written about the abuse of the AVF (all-volunteer force). Delbert Spurlock, who wrote the March 23 op-ed “Respect America’s volunteer military,” is someone who is probably asserting that the draft is now needed to get every citizen involved with the civic responsibility of serving this country.

The service doesn’t require combat but does involve a commitment of two years in support of any U.S. involvement on foreign or even domestic soil. The draft ended in the late stages of the Vietnam War. Until that time, Uncle Sam sent an intent-to-draft notice to all 18-year-old male citizens and residents, usually upon high school graduation.

Contrary to popular belief, when the draft went to a lottery system to eliminate deferments or make the system more equitable, the reality set in that sons of congressman could possibly be drafted. Facing that horror, Congress quickly ended the draft.

Now a new dilemma: The AVF, which is constantly abused and neglected by all those happy to stay out of harm’s way, is stressed beyond repair; soldiers, sailors, and marines come home after several deployments only to find temporary praise but no real understanding of what they have experienced.

The United States needs to get commitments from its citizens in body, not words. The time has come when all citizens and residents need to cross the line and commit.

Ralph Martins, Miami

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