U.S. Military Service: A Reference Handbook

U.S. Military Service: A Reference Handbook

U.S. Military Service: A Reference Handbook

U.S. Military Service: A Reference Handbook

Synopsis

This work is a fascinating overview of Americans&' complex and occasionally uneasy relationship with military service, from World War II to the age of global terrorism.

Excerpt

I believe that joining a national service is an extraordinarily personal decision. the content of this volume, highly biased toward the concept of national military service, is only a portion of the idea, albeit admittedly potentially the most lethal aspect. National service can be federal employment, a private not-forprofit engaging in a “good cause,” or many other things. the commitment to that service, however, must entail a strong, personal willingness to do something that we take for granted but is a profound idea: giving up time—an irreplaceable and finite aspect to each and every one of our lives—in exchange for contributing to a cause that is outside of ourselves. Many of us engage in this exchange without giving it much thought at all, because “we need the money” or “everyone else does it,” but I recall the years when many people did it because the Constitution of the United States and the legal system forced them to do so. During the war in Southeast Asia, many in the United States protested that war and saw national service not as a commitment but as a requirement that they hated and eventually changed.

As a result of the change, people who engage in national military service in the United States today do so completely voluntarily. the process of getting to the all-volunteer force from a draft was extraordinarily painful for society and evidenced considerable misunderstanding on both sides of a bifurcated society. Many of those who went to Vietnam, did their tours of duty, and came home to bitterness and hostility often could not comprehend the reception they received from their fellow citizens. Others who disagreed with the national decision to go to Vietnam often protested the basic premise of U.S. power, the use of that power in a corner of Southeast Asia, and the idea that those who had served should be acknowledged for their service. This . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.