June 25, 2005: Headlines: National Service: Sun-Sentinel.com: Jonathan Del Marcus says: A National Service Plan could require every American citizen from 18-28 years of age to serve the country in either a civilian capacity for two years or in the military for three years. A National Service Board would represent the five military services and other approved civilian organizations encompassed in the plan.

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: National Service : National Service: June 25, 2005: Headlines: National Service: Sun-Sentinel.com: Jonathan Del Marcus says: A National Service Plan could require every American citizen from 18-28 years of age to serve the country in either a civilian capacity for two years or in the military for three years. A National Service Board would represent the five military services and other approved civilian organizations encompassed in the plan.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.245.37) on Saturday, July 02, 2005 - 2:38 pm: Edit Post

Jonathan Del Marcus says: A National Service Plan could require every American citizen from 18-28 years of age to serve the country in either a civilian capacity for two years or in the military for three years. A National Service Board would represent the five military services and other approved civilian organizations encompassed in the plan.

Jonathan Del Marcus says: A National Service Plan could require every American citizen from 18-28 years of age to serve the country in either a civilian capacity for two years or in the military for three years. A National Service Board would represent the five military services and other approved civilian organizations encompassed in the plan.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Jonathan Del Marcus says: A National Service Plan could require every American citizen from 18-28 years of age to serve the country in either a civilian capacity for two years or in the military for three years. A National Service Board would represent the five military services and other approved civilian organizations encompassed in the plan.

We all have a stake in U.S.

By Jonathan Del Marcus
Posted June 27 2005

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

-- President John F. Kennedy, 1961 Inaugural Address

Recent scandals involving military recruiting and the shortfalls that some of the United States military services have encountered during the last several months have combined to create a dismal picture for the military's ability to both sustain and win the global war on terrorism and successfully respond to a potential conflict in the future.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during his testimony before the U.S. Congress in May that continuing deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan pose "significant risks" for our ability to respond to future crises.

There appears to be no end in sight to the war in Iraq and the conflict's mounting casualties. The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans who came of age in relative peace and prosperity.

Unfortunately, many do not quite understand the concept of service to country. National veterans statistics show a very real decline throughout the last 30 years in the percentage of Americans who have served in the military. The post-Vietnam-era volunteer military has served America well, but it remains to be seen whether it can sustain itself during a protracted and increasingly unpopular conflict.

This administration opposes a draft, but has instead implemented a "backdoor draft" through a stop-loss policy that prevents certain "essential" service members from leaving the military when their contracts expire. Further, the work that the military cannot accomplish has been given to private contractors, including Halliburton/ Kellogg, Brown and Root, which has reaped billions of taxpayers' dollars. The civilian-contractor "soldiers of fortune" are working in austere and dangerous conditions, but nonetheless are essentially very well-paid mercenary technicians.

There is a better way.

A National Service Plan could require every American citizen from 18-28 years of age to serve the country in either a civilian capacity for two years or in the military for three years. A National Service Board would represent the five military services and other approved civilian organizations encompassed in the plan.

Because of the additional risk inherent in the armed forces, those who choose the military option should be compensated more and traditional incentives and benefit programs should be continued.

Americans are living longer and many are delaying retirement past the age of 65. Compulsory service for all Americans for a period of two or three years could hardly be considered a hardship and would not interfere with the economy.

For example, other nations such as South Korea and Israel, with differing needs from our own, have successfully instituted compulsory military service. South Korea's economy does not suffer from the three years that men are required to serve in their military. In fact, South Korea has become an economic powerhouse.

Other countries' experiences can instruct us, but we should shape a national service plan to meet our own unique needs. Not every individual is sufficiently equipped to endure the mental and physical challenges of military service. Nor should everyone feel the need to do so. But we do need an available pool of young Americans who must serve in some capacity who could choose to serve in the military, as well as in other worthy civilian endeavors. This would practically guarantee that there would always be a steady flow into the armed forces, regardless of whether we are at war or at peace.

The military would then be capable of accomplishing all of its traditional tasks and requirements without passing on the enormous cost to the taxpayers associated with contractor augmentation.

The benefits of instilling an ethic of service in every young American would be immeasurable. Would compulsory national service increase our voter turnout percentages? Yes, because citizens will become empowered to believe that they actually have an interest in and can influence our national destiny. Imagine what real "shock and awe" would develop when the majority of Americans can finally say with pride that this government is a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Religious organizations should be encouraged to participate as long as their activities do not directly promote conversion to a specific faith. Also, other organizations could be developed that would assist in restoring the environmental catastrophes wrought by California forest fires or Florida hurricanes. Individuals could choose to serve with organizations such as Habitat For Humanity, the Peace Corps and other causes that also serve internationally.

National service could add immeasurably to our national identity and collective values. As President Kennedy said more than 44 years ago in his inaugural address, "The glow from that fire can truly light the world."

Urge your U.S. representative to consider sponsoring or supporting such needed and timely legislation.


Jonathan Del Marcus served in the Army from 1999-2003. He resides in Tamarac.





When this story was posted in June 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

American Taboo: A Peace Corps Tragedy Date: June 20 2005 No: 661 American Taboo: A Peace Corps Tragedy
Returned Volunteers met with author Philip Weiss in Baltimore on June 18 to discuss the murder of Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner. Weiss was a member of a panel that included three psychiatrists and a criminal attorney. Meanwhile, the Seattle U.S. Attorney's office announced that Dennis Priven cannot be retried for the murder. "We do not believe this case can be prosecuted by anyone, not only us, but in any other jurisdiction in the United States." Read background on the case here.

June 16, 2005: Special Events Date: June 16 2005 No: 654 June 16, 2005: Special Events
Philip Weiss, PCV murder writer, speaks in Baltimore June 18
"Rainforests and Refugees" showing in Portland, Maine until June 25
"Iowa in Ghana" on exhibit in Waterloo through June 30
NPCA to hold Virtual Leaders Forum on July 29
RPCV's "Taking the Early Bus" at Cal State until Aug 15
"Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures" in NY thru Sept 30
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

June 14: Peace Corps suspends Haiti program Date: June 14 2005 No: 651 June 14: Peace Corps suspends Haiti program
After Uzbekistan, the Peace Corps has announced the suspension of a second program this month - this time in Haiti. Background: The suspension comes after a US Embassy warning, a request from Tom Lantos' office, and the program suspension last year. For the record: PCOL supports Peace Corps' decision to suspend the two programs and commends the agency for the efficient way PCVs were evacuated safely. Our only concern now is with the placement of evacuated PCVs and the support they receive after interrupted service.

June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program Date: June 7 2005 No: 640 June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program
Peace Corps has announced that it is suspending the Uzbekistan program after the visas of 52 Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were not renewed. The suspension comes after a State Department warning that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in Uzbekistan and after the killings in Andizhan earlier in May. Background: PCOL published a report on April 23 that Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were having visa difficulties and reported on safety and visa issues in Uzbekistan as they developed.

June 6, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: June 12 2005 No: 643 June 6, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Kinky Friedman will "sign anything except bad legislation" 6 Jun
Niels Marquardt Makes Chimpanzee Protection a Priority 6 Jun
Laurence Leamer needs approval for "Today" appearance 6 Jun
Desperate Housewives' Ricardo Chavira is son of RPCVs 6 Jun
Anthony Sandberg runs Berkeley sailing school 5 Jun
Amy Smith field-tests sugarcane charcoal 5 Jun
Mary Johnson organizes workshop on genocide 3 Jun
Jonathan Lash in 100 most Influential Business Leaders 3 Jun
Hastert jump-starts Chris Shays' Campaign 3 Jun
John Coyne says 41 RPCVs applied for scholarships 3 Jun
James Rupert writes on bombing in Kandahar mosque 1 Jun
John McCain says to expand opportunities for service 1 Jun
Jay Rockefeller's relationships with Japanese go way back 1 Jun
Anat Shenker met her husband during service in Honduras 31 May
Ryan Clancy punished without hearing for visiting Iraq 30 May
Melissa Mosvick remembered as a fallen American hero 29 May
Kurt Carlson played basketball against Togo's national team 29 May
Helen Thomas's favorite president remains JFK 24 May

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Sun-Sentinel.com

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; National Service

PCOL20851
03


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: