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Terrible Mistake Robert Sheridan FawCawnahs bobsheridan@earthlink.net The cops I used to work with were all a generation older than me. They were WWII and Korean War veterans. Whenever one of the new, young, generation of cops would get in trouble over some disciplinary matter, the old-timers would decry the lack of military experience of the new ones. That's why he got in trouble, they'd say. Wouldn't have happened if he'd been in the military.

When universal military experience was the norm in this country, it did represent a unifying experience for the majority of young men. It did raise boys to manhood in a more-or-less uniform institution that stressed the manly virtues of discipline, drinking, and card-playing. It also taught young men from all over the country to work and get along together. It was the only chance most of them had to do that and many of them went on to endorse the experience as formative and beneficial in their lives. It opened their eyes.

A lot of them hadn't college to do that. Not a huge percentage of the population went to college before WWII. Now a lot more do. The GI Bill, which allowed the returning GIs to go to college and jump start their interrupted lives, democratized college for the likes of you and me.

I agree with Rich, however.

Don't have conscription unless we're in dire straights.

Leave people alone.

Let 'em live their own lives.

After all, it's their lives.

Don't you love it when people tell you how you ought to live.

-rs



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