The Draft

“I think we keep these moments of rejection and acceptance very close. I think we carry them always, like cracked shells from which a part of us once hatched.” Simon Van Booy, an American writer. It’s that place we call long term memory. It’s an integral part of us. It is part of what makes us who we are.

To some, like certain Vietnam vets, the rejection-by-live-shelling memory is overwhelming. No matter what our armed services do to protect them, it still occurs in many of those brave men and women.  

I have regrets that some of my former classmates dealt with the horrors of war and some gave the ultimate sacrifice. By the luck of the draw, timing and my schooling, but at its essence the grace of God, I managed to avoid conscription.

To those terribly upset with the government horning in on our lives, yes, John and Jane Doe, the draft could be invoked. It did cause the most injurious urban riot in the history of our nation in New York City during the Civil War. In Israel where the troops are so badly outnumbered the draft is reality for young men and women.

Here’s hoping we can avoid that at least for another 50 years. Here’s a salute as well to those brave men and women who have signed up willingly to protect us.