Patrick McCaffrey coffin
(image by Patrick Mccaffrey Foundation) DMCA
"He replied, 'Okay.' And I said, 'I'll take a Yes, Sir, since you're talking to a sergeant, private.'"
Why is it that the teams in which we keep investing trillions build skill sets that rely on "passing ammo," which destroys good will, makes enemies, cripples, and scars?
Don't we know how to make heroes another way?
Why don't we invest billions in skill sets that "pass shovels, seedlings, hammers, books...?" That create friends and erase dangerous "isms"? And then bring home those who provide those services healthy and proud?
The Army's first 2004 study of our soldiers who served in Iraq found that one in eight returning soldiers suffered from PTSD. To get the full terrible import of those stats, you have to remember that about 60% of those with symptoms failed to seek help.
Lately, you may have heard some networks report that 20 veterans commit suicide each day. However, that number relies on data from only 21 states representing 40% of the populace. California, Texas, and Illinois are among those whose statistics were not counted.
We Have To Change, and the Model for It Already Exists!
Such statistics should surely wake us up to the need for change. Instead of continuing to overburden a small segment of Americans with futile military service, isn't it about time that more Americans served their country by providing peaceful, cost-effective services that build skills and address genuine social needs?
What we need is an expanded national service that creates sustainable and healthy communities and can help build a more peaceful world that will require far less traumatic engagement by our soldiers. Fortunately, a model for such a service already exists.
The American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposal would make of the AWSC a broad umbrella authority under which 21 million Americans over the ensuing 27 years could choose to work for such organizations as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Doctors Without Borders, Head Start, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, effective local non-profits, and in-need schools.
This kind of cost-effective national service could help to temper the ravages of climate change, benefit our overburdened soldiers, keep us out of dumb-into wars, and reduce the heavy memories carried by once and future gung-ho soldiers from wars that "90%" of them perceive as "bullshit."
Learn more and help make it happen at www.worldservicecorps.us/