|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Thu Jun 6th, 2013 08:33 pm||
| On this 69th anniversary of the landings in Normandy, it is worthwhile to reflect on the passing of World War II veterans from the realm of politics, as well as from the society as a whole.
With Lautenberg Gone, WW II Vets Fade From Politics | RealClearPolitics
Over 16 million Americans served in the military in World War II, and 400,000 (one in forty) were killed. But the rest came home and millions took advantage of the GI Bill and got educations. For the most part, they prospered and advanced not only their own interests, but those of the society as a whole.
Many of these veterans transitioned from a military life to a political one and were proven to be good leaders. They faced down a formidable foe in the Soviet Union, and history shows that they prevailed in the end.
There was a time a few decades ago when World War II vets were prominent at all levels of government, as well as business, and every other type of endeavor. Those days have now passed, much to my regret. Even if I profoundly disagreed with some of them politically, I could still respect them for having shown that they had backbone in fighting a war for national survival.
Our society is different nowadays. The percentage of leaders in government who have served in the military is the lowest that it has been since World War II.
Veterans in Congress at lowest level since World War II - CNN.com
The draft was ended 40 years ago. While my personal preference is for a professional military, I can see some advantages in requiring citizens to serve in the armed forces. Forty years ago, a young man still had to consider the military question when he pondered his future. That is no longer the case.
Only about half of one percent of the population are currently on active duty in the military. That number will soon be reduced further. During World War II, most families were: "Invested" in the military. They had a family member serving, or at least some other relative, perhaps. These days, only a tiny percentage of the population has any connection at all to the military. This tiny percentage is called upon to make the sacrifices associated with fighting the country's wars, while all the rest are encouraged to go out and spend money.
For its part, the small subculture that is the military feels more and more isolated from the general population. For the most part, those leading the country these days have never had any connection to the military. In my view, the country was better off when its leaders had proven themselves in the crucible of war, and knew well the costs and sacrifices that it demanded.