Originally Posted by REDREAD
You're right, those who use political influence or whatever to get out of their obligation are bad too.
But it really burns me that these guys VOLUNTEERED for this job, knowning darn well there was a chance of getting involved in war, and now they want out. The National Guard wasn't intended to be some kind of joke college subsidy where goof off one weekend a month. I know it used to be that way in some states, but if you are against fighting for your country, why join the national guard? At least the draft dodgers have the arguement that they are being compelled against their will. All these deserters VOLUNTEERED for this job.
I think that is the key difference here in comparison to the Nam draft dodgers. Joining the Guard or the armed forces is serious business. It should not be entered into lightly. I don't know if that's pressed upon the individuals who volunteer to join up. Are they using bait and switch techniques by promising a free ride to college in return for a few weekends of drilling or some boot camp and living on a base like Gomer Pyle for however many years? The armed forces are using slicker and slicker marketing techniques these days. It's no longer hang an Uncle Sam Wants You poster in the window anymore. It's high-tech commercials aimed at hormonally charged teens who may get the impression from the commercials that enlisting is fighting dragons, playing video games and a cool uniform. And using that kind of marketing is fine as long as the flip side is explained to them. War could break out at any time these days and there's always that possibility that you have to fight and possibly die for your country. That's what being in the armed forces is all about.
That said, Springy's comments on the punishment for deserters was very insightful and thoughtful.