If the war in Iraq is so important to our presidential candidates,
December 8, 2007 8:13am CST
why is it that only TWO of them have children or grandchildren serving in the military? You have heard them all talking about the war in Iraq; both the Republicans and the Democrats. Many candidates on both sides have comeout for "finishing what wee started"; "we can't pull out yet"; etc. But, "Romney, a former Massachusetts governor now running for the Republican nomination for president, caught flak recently when, asked by an Iowa woman if any of his five sons are in the military, he said they were "showing their support for the nation" by campaigning for him to be president." This shows you his double standard very clearly - the war is important; but, not important enough for even ONE of his children to be serving ANYWHERE in ANY branch of the armed forces. "Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has been hawkish on Iraq, but her own daughter, Chelsea, is not in uniform." She will send someone else's sons and daughters' but not HERS. None of President Bush's family is serving in the military either; but, he started this whole mess and is still sending other people's children to fight. Of all of these candidates - only two have children or grandchildren serving in our armed forces today. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) Whether you agree with them or not on this or other issues; at least these two candicates have been stressing the same beliefs and standards in their own homes as well as in the public arena.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Dec 07
If parents (political candidates or not) talk to their children about the military being a good career option and about actively defending our country being the right thing to do; the children will at least look into the option. With only one child in a family; there may be extenuating circumstances - our son tried to go into the military and they turned him down (if he had been accepted he would have qualified for $60,000 toward the college of his choice after serving 4 years that was his reason for trying to join). My parents raised three girls and I went into the military, my sister tried and was rejected during basic training, and my other sister didn't try. My husband's parents raised three boys; my husband went into the military, his two brothers did not. In my father's family he went into the military and his brother did not (military was not an option for most women then). My mother's family - her sister and two brothers went into the military and she and another brother did not. ALL of them were volunteers; not draftees. So, if the parents actively support military service in their homes; at least one in three will TRY to enter a branch of the armed forces. If parents say "yes, it is important; but, let someone else do it". Their children are less likely to enter the military. One general wondered why his nephew had delayed entering the Marines since he had wanted to join ever since he was 16. He did join; but, he said he had delayed becasue his parents didn't want him to join. They told him to "let someone else do it". Mitt Romney has FIVE sons and not ONE has even tried to enter any branch of the military - not even the Coast Guard. We raise our children. We try to instill our values in them. If our values are that serving our country for at least 2 - 4 years is the right thing to do; at least a few of our children will accept that value themselves. But, if our "values" are to "let someone else do it". They will pick up on that belief and accept that "value" also. Only children who are orphaned or in foster care do not have their parents teachings and values to influence and guide them in their choices. We have one of the best countries in the world to live in - no it is not perfect, no place is. If you do not believe me that the US is one of the best countries in the world; just ask any illegal immigrant that has done everything possible into get to this country. We should ALL be willing (whether we are accepted or not) to give at least 2 years in service to our country. We have a lot of choices out there - you do not have to "go into battle" to serve your country. You can help defend our borders or our coasts. You can provide support and supplies to front line troops. You can be a medic and help keep our troops in good health. You can do the paperwork that keeps their pay flowing to them and their families and makes sure they get assignments that rotate the fighters home. Neither my husband or I ever ended up actually fighting; but, we did our part to help maintain our countries armend forces so that others could do their jobs: both in Viet Nam and Desert Storm. So, yes, the parents should "share the blame" since they raised their children to NOT serve.
• United States
11 Dec 07
I wanna know the same thing! It's obvious these people are in it for the money and whatever else. I read your posts above and thought to myself that there were lots of people you know in the military. Mine is like that too. One my mom's side, she has a cousin in Iraq that is a high ranking officer. On the other side of the family I have a cousin who will be joining him soon. Everyone on my father's side of the family has been in the military even back to the Civil War! My grandma's aunt on my mom's side served in the Battle of the Bulge in France during World War II. She was a nurse to the troops, which I think is awesome that she and all my other relatives sacrifice themselves like that. The Coast Guard would be a good option for me (if I passed the test, which I know I wouldn't. Too skinny), but I heard on the news a month or so ago that they were shipping members of the Coast Guard and National Guard (is that the same thing? lol) over to the Middle East. I remember thinking "If they all leave, who would protect the borders and help out with natural disasters?"
• United States
11 Dec 07
The National Guard are military members who are trained by the active duty forces; but, they are paid and belong to the individual states (like a militia). They are supposed to be the first people there to take care of natural disasters, attacks on our country, and civil insurrection. The Coast Guard is designed to protect our coasts AND inland waterways; as well as conducting rescue operations off shore. The Coast Guard belongs to the federal government. Never assume you will not qualify. When I was in the military, we had a few people who were so skinny they would try to add weights to their shoes and pockets. If you do not qualify, ask why - some things can be changed and others can't. But, we live in one of the best coutnries in the world and if we can't give up a couple of years in our lives to take care of it and pay it back; how can we expect someone else to do it. The downfall of the Roman Empire came about when Roman citizens would no longer perform military service and Roma had to bring in foreign mercenaries to take over this task. Then, these mercenaries took over and tore down the Empire. We are already hiring "civilain contractors" to perform many of the military tasks and functions - including fighting in Iraq. There is talk of giving illegal immigrants citizenship if they will serve in the military. We need to start taking care of our own country before it is no longer OUR country.
• United States
12 Dec 07
Hi SpeaksEasy. Thanks for the information you gave. I had a feeling there were both a Coast and National Guard. It's a shame they are sending a bunch of them to fight in Iraq when their job is to stay in America and defend it. I heard this on the news as stated above. I didn't know that about Rome and their downfall. I agree that we should take care of the country, not mercenaries, illegal alien jobs and whatever else is in play.
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
11 Dec 07
Well, for pretty simple reasons. Because we don't live country where military service is forced upon us, last I knew there hasn't been a draft since the 60's. No parennt can complell their child to serve in the military, not even a politition. A person forced to serve will not be the soldier that a voulunterr will be. A person who volunteers has his heart and soul in it and believes in what they are doing. To use childrens' not serving as an anti war argument is weak and absolutely irrelevent.
• United States
11 Dec 07
"To use childrens' not serving as an anti war argument is weak and absolutely irrelevent." This discussion is not "pro" or "anti" war. It is simply a discussion about the fact that many of the politicians who have come out FOR the war - have NO children or grandchildren who are serving or have served in the military. To me, that is rather a hypocritial statement of "yes, I will be glad to send YOUR family to war; but, my family is not going". You cannot honestly expect me to believe that parents have no influence over their children's choices. No, a parent cannot make them join the military. But, they can stress the benefits of military service and make it into a viable career option. Especially for people with a college degree - they go in as officers and that looks very good on a resume when they are applying for a managerial job after their service is up. I know a lot of kid's who have been strongly influenced by their families about their own choice in both schools and occupations. Many will follow the same or a similar career path as their parents. And, how many kids have gone on to college after high school simply because their parents weren't able to go to college; but, the parents really stressed college to their children. Parents cannot force; but, they do influence.