To The Editor:
Recently I had the opportunity to watch a movie titled, “Taking Chance.” It had a profound effect on me. As tears welled in my eyes, I thought, “never again.”
It is a movie about an officer escorting the body of an enlisted man back to his hometown in Wyoming. There was a line near the end of the movie that seemed to say it all. Chance’s platoon commander stated that, “he was as fierce in battle as he was gentle in friendship. Please know that he died a hero but more importantly he lived a hero. It’s ironic but I am certain that if the world had more men like Chance Phelps there wouldn’t be a need for a Marine Corps.”
This line made me think about America and its wars. Don’t get me wrong, I am a veteran and I am proud of it. Although I never was in battle, I greatly admire those who have been. The ones I don’t admire are those who have put us into unnecessary wars. Some would argue that all our wars have been necessary and others argue that they all are unnecessary. I am sure the truth is somewhere in between although I don’t feel qualified to determine exactly where that line should be drawn.
I do feel qualified to say that our leaders, both political and military, need to do a better job of evaluating the criteria that makes it necessary for us to send our young men and women into battle. I have, in my lifetime, seen us enter into wars that the costs have far outweighed the benefits to our country. This has to stop. It is up to the American people to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions.
It might be that bringing back the draft would make us all more conscious of the decisions being made that would put our young in harm’s way. If every citizen, from the rich to the poor, had to be concerned about their child or grandchild being called to fight, we might all, politician to voter, attempt to be more aware of the real needs to go to war.