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Military Service and the Elections of 2028

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Today’s column has generated a long string of comments, some silly continuations of the Bush-Kerry debates, but many interesting ones on my premise that the young men of today who do not serve in the military will face significant obstacles in any future political career. 

The commentators have also added a number of additional arguments in favor of enlisting either out of high school or immediately following college.

But Joe, a USC grad who enlisted after graduation and who is now a sergeant in Army Special Forces, called with the best reason of all: He couldn’t imagine explaining to his kids –not voters– why he had not answered the call of duty after 9/11.  He spoke with me in the fourth segment of today’s second hour.  I strongly recommend you give it a listen as well as giving the comments a read.

One grab from one comment on the thread:

[L]eadership learned under fire imparts character, and it leaves a mark on a person after hostilities cease. When the test of your leadership skills involves responsibility for the lives of others, your priorities change. Of the elements of character required to be successful in the military, integrity is the most prized. (This is not to say that all who serve in the military have integrity, but the military system is very adept at weeding out those who do not have it.)

In my years of service, I have met (and lost) people whose character, intelligence, humanity, love, patriotism, AND LEADERSHIP constantly remind me of the better things in people I will always strive to find in myself.

Those kinds of experiences create leadership skills that people gravitate to, and always have.


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