An American Parable: Life’s Too Good for Fighting

Last month, the United States Army missed its recruiting goal of 5,500 new recruits by almost 400. The army cited the war in Iraq, and a strong economy, as reasons they fell short of the goal. It’s understandable that young people would be wary of joining the army during wartime. Even more so while we wage a war that is so unpopular and fruitless. But by citing economic factors in explaining the recruiting shortfall, the army is being refreshingly candid, something that politicians would do well to take note of. It has never been a secret that the United States has depended heavily upon those less fortunate to bear the burden of national defense. Military pay is low, the hours are long, and during a war, the risks are high. We have every reason to be proud of those who sign on the dotted line and put on the uniform, but it is unseemly that so many people take a hard look at their lives and feel getting shipped off to war is a better alternative. That alone is evidence we still have some nation building to do here at home.