My Military Service

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My Military Service

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:49 pm

This seems a subject that comes up a lot..

I write a military history forum and did not serve.

Three times threads have sufferred the comment 'well it's easy to say as you are not there'.

Ok a valid point of yiew. It is unecessary to restate this.

In 1964 I entered Holy Cross College. They offered AFROTC and NROTC. I wished to be a Marine and opted (foolishly as it turned out) to go for OCS upon graduation.

To be able to do this it required signing up for the Marine PLC (platoon leaders class) in the first semester of my fourth year. I did this.

No deferment was availble for grad students at the time although I had already been accepted to B.C. Law..

My Marine physical was in Spring 1968.

The Doctor failed me because of a specific condition that he felt would not enable me to undergo a forced march.

I disagreed. I requested another physical.

I got another physical at Chelsea Naval Hospital in the Summer of 1968.

The opinion remained unchanged. I asked to sign a 'waiver' which the staff doctor would not accept-----i'll dispense with the recounting of his comments.

I was conscripted the same Summer.

I did not pass the physical given at Boston Army Base.

I suppose, as Shakespeare said: "and every man shall call himself accursed that he was not a soldier".

I hope the subject does not call my opinions into question.

I hope military service is not a prerequisite for stating one's views.

Robert Heinlein postullated a World in "Starship Troopers" where if one did not serve, one was not enfranchised.

A valid point of view, but not one envisioned by the the Founding Fathers, I think. who did not seem disposed to the existence of standing armies.

That we have a standing professional Army indicates that the present society views the standing force as necessary as did Washington, who ever decried the Militia and Regiments raised personally under the system of the time.

I feel, however, that there should be no conscription in the absence of a declaration of war.
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