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Remember Our Soldiers

From the greatest generation to my generation, the military draft was the experience we all shared.

I wasn't drafted, but the draft was the reason I took ROTC in college, it was better to spend three years as an officer than two years as an enlisted man, I thought.

Right or not, those years were some of the best of my life. I got more from it than the country got from me, that's for sure. And that's the main reason I've always favored compulsory national service, military or civilian.

The draft gave us a greater appreciation of the military. Those who did not serve at least knew a friend or relative who had, or a family who had lost someone in the war.

These days we have a professional military, the best in the world. But the number of people who serve is such a small percentage of the population that many of us don't even know a military person, let alone what they do.

And we also tend to forget how much reliance now falls on Reserves and the National Guard. Thousands upon thousands of those citizen-soldiers have again had their lives disrupted, not just men anymore, but women, too, even some young mothers.

We're probably headed to war. Whatever your feelings about that, let's remember the young Americans, professionals and citizens-soldiers who've answered the call as Americans always do in time of crisis.

Without a draft to remind us, it is so easy to forget what they are doing.