This I Believe

Ryan - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007

I am a current and proud member of the Air National Guard. One of the Air Force’s core values is service before self. I feel very strongly about this core value and I truly believe in it. I believe that everyone in the United States should give their service.

I agree with Senator John Edwards and his proposal for a two year mandatory national service requirement. If he wins the presidential election he plans on pursuing this. Any president can call for a draft during a time of war, but his national service is not simply a military draft. It would give citizens not needed by our military the opportunity to choose between the armed forces and civilian services such as in our sea and airports, schools, hospitals, and other facilities.

I think that our youth is in trouble and heading in the wrong direction. I grew up with it and I see it only getting worse fast. Giving of yourself to the service of someone else is the most humbling and patriotic experience you can have. And with these come maturity, discipline, and most importantly pride. These are the most important characteristics that we need to instill in our youth for the security of our future. None of these services are non paid volunteer work and would be on a federal pay scale. And if someone decides to go to medical school or law school they can and serve their time after. And for a lot of these grad students their profession and service may be the same thing.

Personally I think the military is one of the best ways to transform boys and girls into men and women. However I know that the military is not right for everyone and that other options should be available for the mandatory service. We have the best military in the world because it is an all volunteer unit and it needs to stay that way. Your right to make this choice if one of the main things that our military fights for. Everyone should sit down and speak with an elderly person and ask them about what it used to be like to be an American and how patriotism has changed. You will probably end up getting stories all the way down to how you would know every neighbor on your block by their first name. I am not saying that we need to go back to the 50’s. I just feel that our country needs to do something to re-instill morals to our youth. This proposal may just help.