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Being Drafted into the Armed Forces of the United States…..or for any country is a giant trauma. Even the Swiss continue the great tradition of:

Conscription

All able-bodied male Swiss citizens are conscripted to the armed forces until the age of 30. In practice, persons who become Swiss citizens after the age of 25 are rarely summoned and instead pay a 3% additional annual income tax. For women the service is voluntary.

Information letter and day

At 17 years of age, male Swiss citizens receive a letter detailing their military obligations. At 18 years of age, they are sent marching orders to present themselves at a nearby barracks for a day of information. They are given presentations explaining the various branches of service and prerequisites for certain positions such as jet pilot (which requires two years of flight school outside of military service). Those wishing to take part in civilian service or weaponless service are instructed to address a letter detailing their intentions to their canton’s military authority prior to recruitment.

===========*Extract from Wikipedia on Swiss Army Service.

OK, there has been a recent change to Swiss Service which required that each trained soldier take their Automatic Service Firearm home with them. They have had a few people go off the rails….and right now they are reviewing that procedure. Meanwhile, there is little chance that the Draft is going to go away in beautiful Switzerland!

As President Obama gave his Commencement Address at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis for the Navy and Marine Grads today…..he addressed the great tradition of service to this country…..bringing back the thoughts of Teddy Roosevelt, the images of Iwo Jima, Vietnam and other challenges that the military of the United States has had to face throughout the years of our history. He then strongly encouraged all….to continue that great tradition of Honor, Courage and Sacrifice in the days to come.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, North Korea, Africa, the Caribbean basin, the Balkans, Southeast Asia, the Phillipines, Africa and possibly Iran. All names on maps which emote a concept and range of possibilities which may incur conflict and military action in the years ahead. This of course does not take into account attacks on our Embassy’s, kidnapping of American Citizens, Pirates, Home grown terrorists, Foreign trained and directed terrorists and of course…..crazy foreign leaders that develop Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Luckily for our progeny, Military Service has changed a great deal in the last 40 years. In the Civil War, you could buy your way out….those that didn’t were fairly well assured to endure a “cannon fodder” designation. In World War I, Trench warfare and Poison Gas was a fact of life….that killed millions in mindless mass wave attacks. In World War II, Kansas farm boys were taken into an Army or Service that simply removed their names and gave them numbers. The so-called “Greatest Generation” were lucky to have older guys drafted along with the kids, that had more common sense than discipline: making a reality of “Fragging” more than a distinct possibility if you weren’t careful.

The big changes occurred in Korea and Vietnam. When Ted Williams went back into the service to fly fighter planes in Korea…..it was a big deal. We still had heroes willing to do their duty. In Vietnam, politicians ran a war that restricted the common sense of the old Generals, who just wanted to keep their jobs. It proved beyond reason, that the last President to run a war intelligently was Lincoln, which is so contentious that we won’t even touch it. The running of the Vietnam war by Robert Strange McNamara or LBJ and then the great Nixon debacle proved to all – keep politicians out of running the “War Process”.

Today, we continue a war that was started under Bush the 1st. We have been in Iraq since 1990. Soon, 20 years! Oh sure, Saddam and his kids…..tried like heck to give us the old “Wahzoo”….but he failed. 9/11 in 2001 was a good enough excuse to “start clearing the decks” of rabid dog dictators. It has been a messy and awful experience in exposing Americans to societies that had little or no use for human life. People that would train their 4 year olds to grow up to become suicide bombers. People who were not going to wear uniforms, people who were not going to play by any set of rules. People that are willing to kill as many or more of their own people as us. People who are testing our will and our desire for peace or conflict. The issue of “torture” has been made a big deal. Look back on all war…as far as you can see. “Torture” is nothing new…never was…never will be! Those photos of our downed pilots in the first Gulf War after their capture were probably the most telling about our old buddy Saddam and his kids!

Today, we have our kids, grown-ups and babes all in our US Armed Forces. Some come for the typical reasons…”Free Healthcare and some cash for College”. Some come for adventure…until they get into the “sheet”. Some come to better understand their own limits, their own desires and their own country. Some come to learn a skill…..like how to operate a M-4 Machine Gun! Some come to become leaders and positive roll models for others!

God bless them all on this Memorial Day. God bless them, not just for their various sacrifices. No, God Bless them because they are following a great tradition of doing. God bless them for making life long friends. God bless them for being willing to make life long enemies! God bless their service because “their service” makes a difference to our country. God bless their service because they will be able to pass on their experiences to all of us through their deeds, their attitudes and their new found knowledge!

To those who have not served their country: We pity you! We are so sorry that you never got the opportunity to challenge yourself, to put your life in harms way, to be unable to fully control your life direction. It is a great and humbling experience that only can be achieved by service to your country. People point to the various “cush assignments” that members of the Armed Forces enjoy. For those that don’t know: “Those cushy assignments can change – overnight!” God bless each and every member of our Armed Forces on this 2009 Memorial Day! Stay safe and alert…in a dangerous world troop!


About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk show...is the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.