Kovic returned packed in a wheel chair battling demons. In comfortable America, he had no flamethrower to destroy his demons. Instead, he poured booze and drugs. Soon he was postered as the leg-less, chained-to-the fence Vietnam War resister.
Today, Kovic has moved far beyond where the movie, Born on the Fourth of July, left him. On Independence Day in his neighborhood, you're likely to see him goading America toward independence from stupid wars. [[IMG3]]
Gold Star Mom, Nadia McCaffrey also says, "What more could I give or the nation take..." about her son, Patrick.
Patrick, a father of two who liked building things, volunteered a month after 9-11 for California's 579th Engineers National Guard Battalion, because he was told it would keep him near his family. Instead, he was soon ordered to Fort Anaconda to do patrols and train Iraqi troops, who President Bush told us were being, "Trained up so our troops could step down." On his unit's sixth consecutive night of patrolling, the troops Patrick trained murdered him and Lieutenant Andre Tyson, a truth hidden from Nadia for almost two years.
America runs on laws. If the nation wants fewer grieving moms, amputeed, demonized vets, then create law that reduces misunderstandings, ignorance, poverty, suffering, terrorists, poorly formed policies, and the likelihood of wars. Citizens can do that by pushing Congress to introduce and enact People's Lobby's citizen-initiated, non-partisan World Service Corps (AWSC) proposals into law.
If you disdain policies that sent loved ones into harm's way, producing more Kovics, Gold Star Moms, and demonstrations won't significantly shame future administrations from sending sons and daughters to war.
Only when millions of Americans experience more global village needs will we dramatically reduce uninformed policies that take loved ones' lives, limbs, and spirits. Creating the AWSC will create enough first-hand learning and peace-building experiences to keep us from stumbling into dumb wars.
If enacted in the next Congress, then each year for the next seven years approximately 140,000 Americans would voluntarily choose to serve in their choice of the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, etc. By the seventh year one million American World Service Corps members, or .4th of 1% of those aged 20-70, would annually serve at home or abroad for the ensuing 20 years, whereupon Congress could consider sun-setting the AWSC legislation.
A nationwide grassroots movement pushing Congress to implement the AWSC proposals would:
· Allow a significant chunk of Americans to form true worldviews through serving in its pockets of need, and thereby
· Save tens of thousands of lives suffering from poverty, warfare, disease, etc.
· Win countless hearts and minds and consequently reduce the hatred fired at our soldiers.
· Dramatically reduce the unsustainable cost of maintaining a warring military, which is turning America into a second-tier economy.
Why would Americans volunteer for the AWSC?
Americans, personified by Kovics and McCaffreys, have an innate desire to serve, build, do good, and play on good teams, especially in troubling times. While providing outlets for that desire, the legislation cost-effectively strengthens our economy and educational system. Upon completion of service, volunteers would receive their choice of:
· Two years of community plus two years of state college tuition, approximately $16,000.
· Equivalent educational loan pay-off, investment in Medical Savings or IRA Accounts, use as home down payment, or tax credit.
· All of the above transferable to family or friends.
With the influx of the young, baby boomers, and career- breakers, the participating non-governmental and governmental organizations will field an army that will quickly improve the world.
If you believe:
· The organizations named in the AWSC proposals perform the magic of nation building.
· A million can-do Americans a year can increase that magic.
Then read the proposals click here and help create law that reduces ignorance and poverty that lead to wars and the demons that capture our vets. On the next Independence Day, we also ought to celebrate fielding the American World Service Corps, which will keep us from stumbling into stupid wars. Give today's Kovics and McCaffreys the opportunity to make the world safer for tomorrow's kids.
Build the AWSC, and they will come.
If we are going to be "In Iraq for the next hundred years..." then tell Congress the world would be healthier with us serving there in the AWSC. Visit www.worldservicecorps.us. Push Congress. Sign the on-line Petition and help.
Too many of today's vets will return to a too often indifferent administration and uninvolved America with scars, burdens, and demons. Too many, like McCaffrey, won't return. To help them, visit Gold Star Mom Nadia McCaffrey's www.veteransvillage.org, which provides the community where veterans build and grow their lives without the demons. [[IMG4]]
Haven't we had enough Ron Kovics, Patrick McCaffrey...? In the 21st century, we need a peaceful productive army that builds not bombs nations. The organizations named in People's Lobby's non-partisan American World Service Corps Congressional Proposals builds that productive army that has yanks compete on the field of sane, healthy development. Push your Congressman to cosponsor the AWSC, so we lose fewer legs and loving hearts.