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June 2012
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Youth of today not interested in serving in the military



From the July 2 editorial, 71 percent of our youth not qualified for military service as you state seems a little high, but your editorial makes a good point about the nation's youth and fitness.

However, your view misses the most central and disturbing condition about our youth and military service. Our youth simply do not want to serve. That call is way outside the mainstream of our culture.

We have had two long expensive wars over the past 12 years, where the burden of service has fallen on a relative few honorable service men and women. Multiple deployments have been common, the norm. Time and time again, a small set of enlisted veterans have been asked to make great sacrifices, while the rest of us go about our merry ways.

Unless you had a relative or close friend in the service, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been out of sight, out of mind. And the irony, the shame is that some are quick to tote a hard military line, but have never served themselves, nor have their children served. Let's fight, but please don't include me, they say.

Where is our national call for service, and an obligation, a desire on our citizens to commit themselves for service? This is the real travesty in our culture today ­- a vast difference from "the greatest generation" (our fathers), and my generation, which had Vietnam staring us in the face, where we still had a draft, where millions did serve our country (Indiana Army and Air National Guard 1970-76).



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