.

You still have to register for the Draft?

My son turned 18 this past August, a bittersweet time as I miss him as a child but am anxious to see the man and eventual father he becomes.  Yesterday in the mail we got a letter from Selective Services that he has failed to register for the Draft and if he doesn't do it immediately, he is subject to some pretty hefty penalties, I'll link to those at the end of the story.

I had to register for the Draft in 1981, at that point the last time we'd used the draft had been 8 years (1973), so it was still reasonable I suppose, I lived in fear of it for years, when the first Gulf War broke out, my family was freaking out I would get drafted, fortunately they didn't do it and I was just past the age at that point.

We are now over 40 years since the last time we've used the draft, and the likelihood of it ever being needed again is pretty non-existent.  The cost is about $25 million a year, I suppose this is lunch money to congress, but every bit helps.  You can get details on the GAO and costs and timelines and history at http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/defenseandsecurity/a/Is-the-Draft-Still-Needed.htm

The only way we can possibly ever get anything done is by making our voices heard.  Believe it or not, our reps in congress do actually react to public opinion and the Draft is not popular with anyone, you'd think they'd kill this program just so they can be seen as doing SOMETHING, and they won't alienate any groups with this one.  Please, I encourage you to write your Senators:

Boxer
http://www.boxer.senate.gov/

Feinstein
http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

andy fischer January 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM
"Believe it or not, our reps in congress do actually react to public opinion" Not really. We're just peons. If you want to waste your time trying to change the world, then go for it. Instead, I would advise going to the beach or reading a good book in the backyard or going on a bike ride. Life is too short to spend time and money or vote on things you can't do much about.
Shawn Gordon January 26, 2014 at 11:38 AM
It is that attitude that allows them to do whatever they want. Like them or not, the Tea Party groups showed them that they are vulnerable. if you don't think they'd react to getting a thousand emails suddenly on a subject, you are wrong. I get responses to everything I write to them about, I got a call from Feinsteins office on this one already. So take a few minutes and try to make a change.
Danny Jones January 26, 2014 at 01:04 PM
Wow, it's attitudes like yours OP that break my heart. Too many people love living in the land of milk and honey, YET they want nothing to do with keeping it free. I never registered with selective service, ya know how I got out of it? I joined the US Marine Corps because I'm not a friggin sissy. Yeah I said it, flag me boo hoo I don't care. As a matter of fact, I just retired after 20 years, and now at 38 years old I don't ever have to worry about medical or dental for the rest of my life, and I gotta small but better than nothing pension coming in. AT ONLY 38.... And the military allowed me to by my house in RSM back in 1998 when I was only 23, get my college for free, start my business, and see the world- not just Iraq or Afghanistan. So before you start crying about having to sign up for the selective services, take of your rose colored glasses, put on your big boy britches, and take a look around at how the world really is. If you or your family don't like it, there's always Canada to live in....
JTTPW January 26, 2014 at 02:46 PM
Curiously, why was a picture of a foreign military used, for an item about the U.S. Draft ? Thank you.
Shawn Gordon January 26, 2014 at 03:30 PM
@Danny: first, thank you very much for your service, you've made some great points but also missed the point of the post. My dad volunteered for the airforce for the korean conflict as opposed to being drafted and I wanted to follow in his shoes but was denied for medical reasons. The point of the post has nothing to do with military service, it has to do with the idiocy of maintaining a program and system to prosecute young men for not signing up for something we haven't used in over 40 years and will likely never need again due to advances in technology and the huge volunteer military we have through fine people such as yourself.
Shawn Gordon January 26, 2014 at 03:32 PM
@JTTPW: There are 2 pictures, one of our military and one in conflict, it was meant to just be generally illustrative of the military and engagement.
DM January 26, 2014 at 04:46 PM
The real question is, Why dont 18 year old girls have to register for the draft. Femininists in the 60's wanted equal rights but NEVER demaned the right to register for the draft and risk getting sent to Viet Nam!
Annie G. January 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Ya-- they still go after just guys cause i wondered about it not going to college was told i be chased by the draft like guys who don't go to school, but never got anything. not that i'm complaining, but ya.

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