Today is Veterans Day! It started out as Armistice Day. The holiday started from a decree from Woodrow Wilson in 1919. It was the day to celebrate the end of World War I, the war to end all wars. Veterans Day day began in 1954 by an act of Congress as a way to honor all veterans.
I’m a veteran. I had two uncles a number of cousins and my father who served during World War II. My service was during the Vietnam Era. I have a nephew, niece and another niece’s husband who are more recent veterans. I’m grateful that I got a chance to serve. I was a reluctant draftee during the Vietnam war. I was frightened. War can be fatal. I had thought of being a conscientious objector. Some in my generation fled to Canada. That option wasn’t realistic for me. I didn’t want to risk never seeing my family again.
National service in the United States Navy was an important part of my development as person. I served as a Hospital Corpsman. I earned 13 college credits which were later applied to a bachelors degree. I met wonderful people in recruit training, hospital corps school and the numerous duty stations where I served. I abhor war and do what I can to prevent future wars by writing our elected representatives to encourage them to find peaceful solutions to problems.
I am a proponent of compulsory national service. I think it would be a great idea if our country’s leaders initiated a program of service. We need more teachers, firemen, policemen, nurses, doctors and others who could serve for a couple of years to benefit our country. I believe that being part of group like I was in the Navy helped me to have a much wider world view. That would be beneficial.