The recent alleged killing of Afghanistan men, women and children by a U.S. Army sergeant not only brought back memories of my own combat experience, it also made me realize how I may have contributed to these killings. My combat experience and knowledge of history reveal that these events are not unusual and/or unique in a combat zone. If we are going to be involved in war, we should expect these events. What is unusual and unique is this soldier was serving his fourth tour of duty in a war zone. To meet our military obligations, we have become dependent on an all volunteer army, which has resulted in repeated tours.
I believe in the reinstitution of the draft. Doing so would require all of our sons and daughters to perform military duties. The only exception to sending our sons and daughters into combat would be for conscientious objectors. Those individuals would be required to serve an equal term of service in a non-military role. A draft would not only help to eliminate repetitive tours, it would send the sons and daughters of our country’s leadership into battle. Perhaps a draft would motivate our leaders to more intensively review our participation in war in the first place, since the lives of their sons and daughters would also be lost.
This current war in Afghanistan is unnecessary. Lives are being needlessly wasted on both sides. We need to support our troops by reinstating the draft, or bring them home now.
I am accepting my part in these most recent killings. I have done nothing to stop this war. I have silently gone about my safe and secure life while others have died needlessly.
This public article is my beginning in taking action and I hope it opens a public discussion.
David Barbour — Franklin, NC