An Essay on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

Volunteers? Bah Humbug!u
by D. J. Russell (Apr 2010)


         This country has had a strong history of men and women who volunteer their time, energy, and unfortunately, sometimes their lives in the service of their country.  These people are heroes in the truest sense of the word.  While I may agree with each instance that our nation has been forced to sound a call to arms, I fully support those who have chosen to answer that call.  Even those soldiers, or other support personnel, whose service has been in areas free from open hostility should be given a high degree of respect.  Without proper support, front line military forces cannot do their jobs properly and have an increased probability of injury or death.

         That being said, I also say to heck with the volunteer system.  Make every man or woman of age, regardless of age, race, or physical condition, serve at least a limited term of service in the military.

         Let legions of the blind, and their service animals, search for mines and IEDs.  Itís not like most of us arenít on disability of some sort already!  Equip our mobility-impaired comrades with wheelchairs that have tank style treads and a pair of mini submachine guns strapped to each arm.  See?  Opportunities for everyone!  Think the handicapped are timid souls?  Watch the next time someone perfectly healthy steals a handicap spot at your local Wal-Mart.

         In all seriousness, even those of us who do not meet the physical abilities that the military requires for admittance, do have abilities which could be utilized in technical, tactical, or support roles.  We have minds that are just as sharp and agile as any man or woman who can shoot an enemy at one hundred yards.

         Citizenship is not something that any American should consider a right.  It should be considered a privilege.  Any privilege worth having should be earned.  How can you appreciate something that you greatly value if it is simply handed to you?

         What about the elderly?  Let those who have retired fill positions as morale boosters.  Let them write letters to soldiers with no family, or, let them spend time putting together care packages for all the soldiers in harmís way.  Those who have lived long and full lives have more than many years of simply living under their belt.  They have life experience that many of these young men and women have not had the opportunity to acquire.  Why should they have to learn all of these lessons the hard way?

         Many people consider me a royal pain in the rear-end.  Thatís fine.  Itís because of the democratic process that I have the right to be a pain in the rear-end, and do so without penalty of censure or imprisonment.  I would be much more willing to possibly sacrifice my life than I would willingly give up my right to be an individual Ė even an annoying one.

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