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Adm. Mike Mullen: Americans forget the troops who die in 'our dirty little wars' | Washington Examiner


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Mullen and his wife met regularly with Gold Star families, only to find that "the support for them was stunningly thin because the main line of connection was the military member who [had] passed away."

"When you get to these wars, I worry that America has paid us very well, the compensation's good, [so the culture says] 'please go off and fight our dirty little wars and let us get on with our lives,'" he said. "We need to figure a way to get America to buy into those, into them."

The problem is worse in the Northeast than other regions. "The people in the Northeast don't know us anymore, for example," Mullen said, given that the Base Realignment and Closure process has led to the closure of so many military installations in the region.

He proposed some sort of universal national service program (although not a draft), perhaps two years of service for all people between the age of 18 and 24, to bridge the gap between the military and the civilian communities.

"The military becoming more and more isolated from the American people is a disaster for America," Mullen said.

What Janill says below is true -- many Americans want us to stop waging war.

I think one of the problems with citizens relating to military personnel, is that a huge amount of the citizens do not support war, so they are not the ones asking others to fight their wars, in fact they are actually horrified that our young people get sent off to war, and get maimed or killed, so maybe people take a stance of,  I just don't want to know or think about this, because I didn't support it, and I wish it wasn't going on.

IMO a national service program in this country would never be tolerated.

Why would it not be tolerated? Community service could be good for young Americans.

Community service would be one thing, mandatory military service would be another.  It is kind of vague what a "Universal National Service program"  "to bridge the gap between the military and the civilian communities." really means.  I would not have wanted any of my children to join the military, I don't want my or anyone elses kids to go to war, I don't want my kids to be trained in warfare.  I understand that other families take great pride in generations of family members being in the military, I respect this tradition, but I feel bad for those that go into the military because financially it's the best option they have. 

I concur. But yeah, most proposals I hear about talk about Community Service for civil, non-profit, and community causes. Very much in the MLK "everyone can be great because everyone can serve" sense.

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