Wednesday, March 20, 2013
What Would Happen Today if the U.S Reinstituted the Military Draft?
By Dan Longarino
Imagine being a young man in your twenties with your whole life ahead of you. Imagine planning out a career, looking for a place of your own and finally getting that first real taste of adulthood. Now imagine receiving a letter from the government ordering you to put all of that on hold. All those listed freedoms taken away from you to bear arms and fight in a war.
In today’s society, the idea of a military draft doesn’t seem to pass through the minds of the younger generation. Many men turn eighteen, become eligible for the draft as they are required to and never think of it again. The government hasn’t put a draft into place since the Vietnam War, but there is always a small chance it could happen again. How would you and your loved ones react? What would you do?
In 1951, Al Diana was drafted to serve in the Korean War. He recently shared some of his thoughts on the topic. At the time Diana was a 21-year-old man, working in his father’s bar and going to school at night to become an accountant. This all changed when he was drafted.
“When I first received the letter in the mail, I didn’t want to go,” Diana stated. “I was very afraid. It was the only time in my life I saw my father cry.” Despite his fears, Diana served his country in the war for two years. When looking back on the experience, he stated, “I’m proud of what I have done. I am proud to have served my country and it is an experience I’ll never forget.” When Diana returned home to the U.S, he was fortunate enough to become an accountant, start a family and live a normal life.
Unfortunately, many men were not so lucky. So many veterans who were both drafted and undrafted come home mentally scared with no jobs and unable to live a normal life. So this brings us back to the original question. How would today’s society react to the draft? In a world dominated by social media where peoples’ opinions are easily voiced, how would this country take to a draft? When asked how he believed a draft would go through in today’s world, Diana responded, “I don’t think it would go well. I only believe in drafts when we are attacked directly. Not when it’s not our business.”
So many people today couldn’t fathom the idea of putting their whole lives on hold to go put their lives on the line. Perhaps this feeling is justified because the majority of politicians and military experts don’t predict a draft anytime in the near future. But who knows what the future has in store for us? The possibility is always out there and it may be in the public’s best interest to not forget what happened to men like Al Diana. Be informed citizens and keep an eye out on what’s going on in the world.