To the editor:
I read with interest and approval Mike Hoeflich’s column advocating renewal of the draft (Journal-World, Jan. 2). I also read the rebuttal from Anne Haehl (Jan 6.), in which she distorted his premise.
I have, for many years, believed that universal military training and two years of service to our country should be required of all young citizens, male and female, who are mentally and physically qualified to serve. Not only would such a program reinforce an obligation of service to country and others, rather than self indulgence and/or dependency on the government; it would, as Hoeflich suggested, provide a controlled, disciplined environment wherein anti-social and mentally ill individuals could be identified, evaluated and provided necessary care and treatment.
Moreover, service would again become an honored duty of all U.S. citizens, instead of being relegated to the poor and working classes enlisted to fight, as professionals, in any action the government deems worthy of U.S. intervention. The draft was abolished in 1973. Currently, only 20 percent of our congressional representatives and 18 percent of our senators have served in our armed forces. With no requirement to serve, the children of wealthy Americans no longer consider it an option when pursuing their education or career development.
Reinstating the draft would be a major step in healing the current “class warfare” and reuniting our fractured nation. It would do much to bring us together as a people again and elevate national pride and patriotism to its historic eminence.