Posted by: kevinfortruth | September 22, 2010

Rich Not Needed – Tatoos, Criminal Records, High School Dropouts and Gays Not Wanted


Like it or not, the economy dictates the demographics of our military. 

In a down economy the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  During this same period we have had continuous war.  The good thing for our government is that, thanks to our economy, we have a never-ending stream of recruits at recruiting stations across the country. 

Also, during this period, the military industrial complex is making money hand over fist.  There is a steady stream of ammunition, drone aircraft, rockets, missiles, Humvees and other military equipment and supplies coming off assembly lines.  Profits are up for these companies during wartime and they all hope that the war NEVER ends. 

There are a disproportionate number of kids (young men and women) from inner cities and farms that seek military service because in most cases this is the only employment available for them.  In addition, thanks again to the poor economy, they do not have the funds to finance their own college education, so these kids also seek military service to take advantage of the G. I. Bill when their military service is over. 

Unfortunately, some of these kids die in combat or comeback with serious physical injuries or mental problems that adversely affect them for the rest of their lives.

The great thing for the rich and the well off is that there is no draft.  Their kids do not have to worry about things like dying in combat or having to enlist to take advantage of the G. I. Bill.  These kids can skate for four to eight years in college while others are in harms way daily wondering if they will live to see tomorrow.

The rich and their kids do not have to worry about seeing the caskets coming back to Dover AFB because our government, no matter which party is in control, does not permit photos of the caskets draped with American flags as they are offloaded from cargo planes when returning to the United States.

Prior to the war commencing there is a patriotic fervor and recruiting goes way up because our country excels at public relations and kids line up to serve their country in any capacity to help defeat the enemy.  At some point, when the U. S. death count grows recruitment goes down.  The realities of war and the possibility of dying in combat sets in.  This is usually when recruiting standards goes down.  Our government relaxes the recruitment standards and allows individuals with tatoos or those with a G.E.D. or minor criminal records to sign up. 

When the recruiting standards are high, the military shies away from anyone with prior convictions, tattoos, or without a high school diploma.  No matter what the standards are, however, Gays and Lesbians are never wanted – no matter how patriotic they are.

On March 18, 2003, Barbara Bush, mother of then President George W. Bush, said this of the war in Iraq, “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths?  It’s not relevant.  So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” 

Anyone doubting this quote can go to snopes.com and do a search regarding Barbara Bush quote body bags.

Also, Bob Woodward quotes Henry Kissinger as saying, “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”

I personally do not believe that military men and women are dumb – on the other hand I think most of them are naïve.  Unfortunately many believe some of the lies and misstatements that are said that get us into war in the first place.

In the past our country appeared to enter wars for retaliatory reasons – i.e. a friend was attacked and we had a treaty that we needed to uphold.  Now, we go to war at the drop of a hat, any hat. 

Many parents, siblings, and friends of those unfortunate enough to have died in combat really want to believe our country got into war for all the right reasons and their son or daughter did not die in vain.  My wish is for that as well.

Some parents of deceased soldiers have spoken out against the wars.  Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in combat in Iraq is an ardent opponent of the war in Iraq and she strongly questioned President Bush’s ever changing reasons for going to war.  Some Americans believe she is only doing this because she cannot deal with her son’s death.  I do not share that belief.  Cindy Sheehan is also disappointed with President Obama’s handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains a very vocal critic.

Mary Tillman, mother of Specialist Pat Tillman who was killed in combat in Afghanistan was deeply saddened and angered by the military cover-up of how her son actually died and how the government used his death to further its war agenda.  I am not sure how she feels about our country starting the war but she surely is very critical of the lies and misinformation regarding Pat’s death.  Many in the media and some in the military have said that Mary Tillman is unable to handle Pat’s death because she is not a Christian.  Mary casts herself as spiritual and not a follower or any organized religion and I do not see anything wrong with that.

We have a State Department and an Administration that is supposed to make every effort to resolve differences between countries peacefully.  Preparing for and executing war should not be our first choice.  If we are continually going to initiate war offensively then we do not need to have a State Department.  I hope the Tea Party read that last sentence.  If we are going to continue initiating wars we should change the name of the Department of Defense to the Department of Offense.  I know that probably sounds silly to some but lets call a spade a spade.

Another way to reduce the likelihood of war is to have mandatory military service obligation for ALL citizens – black, white, Hispanic, male and female, straights, gays and lesbians, and definitely rich and poor.

The country should grant absolutely NO deferments – not for college, flat feet, tattoos, minor criminal offenses, or sexual preferences.  Make this mandatory service start at a specific age such as eighteen and be for a minimum of two years.  After fulfilling the obligation, those wanting to reenlist can apply and if their record is clean and a slot is available they can remain.

I believe if all young adults were required to serve we probably would not use depleted uranium weapons in wartime – nor would we use unmanned drones that could potentially harm our troops.  Also, our Administration and Congress might be less inclined to authorize offensive wars if their kids were in harms way like those who currently volunteer.

I am sure that a high percentage of executives working for Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, KBR, Halliburton, United Technologies and others have not seen their kids go off to war.

We have 538 members of Congress, 100 Senators and the remaining 438 are  Congressmen and Congresswomen. A small percentage of their kids have served in the military.  Sure, we hear about Senator McCain’s son and Vice President Biden’s son but for the most part their kids go directly to college and never have to worry about military service. On a side note, many sitting members of Congress have never served in the military.

If anyone has statistics on the number of sitting members of Congress have kids currently serving in the military I would love to hear from you.

Do you think our country might think a little harder about initiating war if rich kids and kids of our government leaders had to serve in the military as well?  

I sure do.

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Responses

  1. I completely agree that mandatory military service would mitigate the ease with which our government chooses to go to war. I do think that some people are passionate about military service and chose it of their own free will for that reason. But, most people chose it for financial reasons. That means that who dies for our country is dictated by class. That isn’t just or acceptable, at all. And, at the risk of being called a socialist, I think that everyone should have access to higher education. The combination of mandatory military service and the GI Bill would accomplish that.

    • Hi Engel; Thanks for your insights and helping me see where I left a void in my blog. I played with plastic soldiers when I was a kid and even though I was not born in this era with all the G.I. toys, videos, etc. a lot of us in lower income apartments tended to play war in the empty lots and parks. You are absolutely correct, some kids are born with a lot of military service in their family trees – granddad, dad, unclue, cousins and these kids consider military service early on. On the other side of the coin, with unemployment as it is and the economy flatlining, military service might be the difference between living at home with parents for a couple of years or joining the military to earn some college tuition and to possibly put aside some money for later use. Also, Engel, your last sentence was, as the British would say, “Spot on”.

      Thanks for stopping by – the door is always open and a pot of coffee is always brewing to those like you who add so much via comments.

  2. One additional comment… I am a retired USAF NCO who completed more twenty years of honorable service to my country. Israel is one country that has mandatory military service for everyone – men and women alike. I just think if everyone had to see their kids go off to mandatory service they might rethink the whole concept of war. I worked at Dover AFB for 6 years during the Vietnam War and I processed literally thousands of military human remains and made transportation arrangements for the escorts who accompanied these deceased military service members to their final resting place. Many of the escorts were family members who were also serving in the military. Although I never served in combat, this experience had a significant impact on my life.

  3. In most cases those who were drafted ended up serving except those with deferments.

    Also, I am not disputing that in many cases, military service is a good alternative and sometimes a “good deal”. I do object to illegal or unjust wars. Also, many of our troops have served 5 or 6 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. These repeat tours puts tremendous strain on military families and the military itself. There were cases where enlistment obligations were up and the government implemented a stop loss provision and these soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors were forced to remain in the service beyond their military obligation. If things were that strained, we should have implemented a draft until the wars were over.

  4. I don’t think it is a bad deal for anyone. From my personal experience when my late husband was a child he was so poor the blacks and Hispanics gave his family charity. He walked around town looking for pennies and admiring the food in the store till someone would give him an apple. His mother was an orphan as a child. His father did not have high school education so he joined the Army. After his obligation ended he stayed in the army as he really did not have a choice and eventually retired a Lt Col. He got his son into the Navel Academy. My husband retired a Col. The military was the catapult that raised this family out of poverty.

    My grandson is looking forward to a military career. I support him.

  5. During Vietnam War, when young men were drafted, all boys whether gay, black, or white were drafted. Gay guys were not exempted.
    Wars were invented to make the rich richer and cull the rank of the poor.

    • Hi Angel;

      As usual, your comments are well thought out and very meaningful. 

      I agree, in many cases, military service is really a God send to some.

      I retired as a Msgt in the Air Force and I had many wonderful assignments in the military and for the most part it was a good experience.

      I am only objecting to the shift in our government’s position on war – from normally a defense posture to that of an offensive stance and the tremendous strain it has put on military and military families.  Many troops are on their 5th tour in combat zones.

      Many of our troops went into combat with inferior equipment (flack jackets from the Vietnam era), Humvees that were blowing up daily causing unnecessary death to anyone in them, helicopters and aircraft without necessary electronics to escape RPG’s being shot at them and in recent wars the use of Depleted Uranium coated bullets, rockets, tank ammunition, that has caused leukemia and cancer to thousands of our troops.  Also, birth defects are up tremendously to families of soldiers who return from combat because of this depleted uranium.  Soldiers are encouraged to save their sperm in sperm banks before going to some combat zones to prevent birth defects in the future. 

      Many parents of Army and Marines purchased special bulletproof jackets that were superior to those supplied by the military, yet Generals and Congressman visiting war zones wore these optional pieces of equipment. 

      I also posted another comment below yours that you might find interesting.

      Thanks again for replying to my blog.


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