Last week, as I observed the Marine Corps birthday and Veterans Day, I thought of the recent death of a young Army Ranger in Afghanistan. The sergeant was on his 14th combat deployment when he was killed. I also thought about the unemployment rate among young men in the U.S. – 20-25 percent. I concluded that this – service to one’s country – was apparently one of those jobs that “Americans won’t do” since recruiters are having a hard time filling quotas.
The sergeant probably had volunteered to return to combat, for surely, after the first eight or nine deployments, he would have been granted another assignment. But he chose to use his experience to lead – protect - younger, less experienced volunteers.
One quarter of our young people are deemed physically unfit for military service. As I watched them riot for more entitlements, I wondered if any of the “Occupiers” cared that there is but a small core of our youth standing to protect the country that lavishes those entitlements on them. Statistically, three quarters of them are fit to join that small, elite group but choose, instead, to demand even more.
If given a choice, I’m sure the sergeant would do it again. To him and his comrades, Veterans Day wasn’t just another three-day weekend. Where do we find such men?