"Is This Any Way To Run An Army? Stoned?" Rolling Stone Magazine, November 1968

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Day-Tripper, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    231
    Things were really, really bad in the US Armed Forces in late 1968. Of course, they got even worse. By 1971 more GIs were dying of drug overdoses in Vietnam that from combat. Imagine.


    https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/is-this-any-way-to-run-the-army-stoned-19681109

    The key word in this generation is revolt and the current war has no meaning for most draftees — —it is obvious that the Vietnamese don't want them in their country, and it is not obvious at all what interest a draftee has in being there.

    So incredible numbers of enlisted men are smoking grass to "get away," and more than that, to reinforce their feelings of solidarity with other unwilling conscripts. This is on top of the generation-wide taste for novel thrills and some of these men were blowing pot even even before they were drafted.

    The fact remains that the military provides at least as much exposure to marijuana as a big-city college. This is implicitly recognized in the practice of allowing servicemen to turn in contraband before reaching US Customs, with no questions asked.

    A corporal writes from a former French resort town in Vietnam:

    "There is something about being a head in Vietnam that you can't get back in the world. It may have something to do with complete feeling of oneness (same clothes, same paycheck, no competition for girls, etc.) or it could be other things. But I'm not here to philosophize, am I?

    "There is one interesting thing about grass here. In Vietnam you buy ten already rolled J's for about 100 piastres (88c). 1 or 2 at the most is all you need to get high, where it might take 4 or 5 in the world. Because it is so cheap and effective, many very straight people come over and by the time they return to Altus, Oklahoma, or wherever, they are full-fledged heads and have a new outlook on many things. The Vietnam experience is doing a lot more good, in some ways, than you would think.

    "Because pot is so cheap and abundant, it is smoked like a regular cigarette—tossed away like butts when it becomes too short, and a new one is lighted up. The paths are littered with roaches. Walking along a road one might think how ironical it is that here, in Vietnam, the streets are literally 'paved with gold.'

    "Unlimited supplies. Pot and opium is all they have here. Out of 600 men a good solid half, possibly more, turn on with J's regularly. A few dozen of these on opium. The common practice is to blow outside the barracks, rap a while, then back in to listen to some music. You see GI's walking to and from places blowing all the time. Of course it's not so open in the world."

    An SP/4 writing from a mountain in Vietnam: "Grass is plentiful and cheap. LSD comes from the States. Occasionally we have Afghani and Pakistani hashish and sometimes meth. Opium is plentiful. We take or smoke anything we can. I'm stoned 50% of my waking hours, like now for instance. War? What war?

    "We smoke semi-covertly. We work stoned. Music most of the time. Our favorite combination is HOG (hash, O, grass.) I dropped 500 micro-g's of Acid last month. Four people total dropped and we mainly had an introvert head trip, as there was little visual stimulation. I tripped on Byrds' music for about two hours. I also went to Army school in the States stoned on acid. Big color trip.

    "Most Army jobs are so intellectually easy that it is possible to be stoned all the time, which many of us do for (literally) weeks on end.

    "Oh yeah, I went to reinforce an ambushed patrol once stoned on Meth. Bodies splashed all over the road, and I just diddleybopped down the road digging people with no heads, and some sergeant starts yelling at me to get down. I walked up to him, an only then did I realize that I was the only guy standing up, and everyone else was under cover. So I turned around and walked back down the road which really blew the sergeant's mind. Speed is good for combat, though.

    "I've met many paratroopers who swear by grass for killing people. Never killed anyone yet, so I don't know.

    "I hitchhiked from Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos, in February. Spent about 30c that day. Lived in Laos for four days on about $5, smoking opium with the Laos. The Third Eye in Vietiane is a head-run night-club-restaurant featuring folk and rock. Much of the audience is O-heads."

    An SP/4 in Dian: "Grass is easier to get than booze. About 60% of the company blows grass and about 40% of the entire post does. The Army likes to lie about these statistics—I am not exaggerating in my estimation. It is smoked everywhere, especially around groovy sounds."

    A "Speedy 4" from Nha Trang: "Grass is all over the place if you're aware of it. Any kid on the street who pesters you with 'Hey GI, you want number one girl?' knows where you can score. Most barbershops carry it.

    "For 100 Piastres (about a dollar) you can cop 10 prerolled fat joints (round as cigarettes) wrapped in groovy plastic bags. For just 300 Pee you can cop about four ounces of the most beautiful loose ****. You become lazy here—throwing away roaches and acting so nonchalant about the whole thing—just because the prices are so mindblowing low.

    "I've found that I can swap a carton of Salems ($1.50, tax free, at the PX) for four or five bags. The best grass I've smoked is from Cambodia, although the Mekong Delta has some excellent ****.

    "I would say that about 25% of my unit smoke 'regularly.' It is almost as if you can't afford not to smoke, boo is so cheap. I would say that at least 90% of the GI's here have smoked at least once. From what I can gather, the troops in the field smoke a lot more regularly than support troops. Apparently a lot of 'the enemy'— — Charlie and NVA's— — get all ****ed up before they fight the Americans.

    "Recently I've been getting into the Magic O. Opium usually goes for 50c a bowl although I've blown at one place for 25c a bowl. Like, this place where I go there is a beautiful Buddhist temple in which to freak. 'Papasan' tells me that when the French were here that some of their troops used to do O.

    "I try to stay away from the ****ing Army when I'm flyin' high, the military in such a ****ing drag. War is a bore."

    Report from Saigon: "Pot everywhere! From cab drivers, bar girls, cops, you name it. Very cheap I'm told . . . hash as well, and the security people warn us that heroin and opium are flooding across the border. They say that the commies are putting opium in the joints to get GI's hooked . . . I don't know any.

    "I would guess that 40% of the people here use pot regularly—some places openly—with commanders, NCO's. 80% must have tried it one time or another."

    Another Marine near Da Nang: "Weed is a snap but I've never looked for acid. I am almost always in places where an acid trip might prove fatal. Not too groovy. As a rule, weed and opium (if that's your thing) are easy as they are native. Other things take longer and more devious routes. Everyone turns on to weed. Pot will be legalized if the 18-20 year-olds can get back from here to vote."

    Vietnam is the center of the action, but the Navy, because of the continuous travel and the selection of men who enlist, is also full of heads of all sorts. A sailor whose ship runs between Japan and various South East Asian ports reports this:

    "Marijuana and other drugs are easily available in most ports of the East, but LSD is non-existent. Japan is very poor for marijuana—downers are easily had in any pharmacy, although they are supposedly off-limits to US military. The Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore are all great for pot, and Singapore and Hong Kong have a lot of opium. Hashish is great in Bangkok.

    "On the ship I was stationed on up until a month ago, forty per cent of the crew turned on regularly. The back (fantail) of the ship was just like a big party with sometimes as many as thirtyfive sailors all turning on in groups of three and four. The cops on the ship had no idea what was going on."

    A lieutenant ported out of Long Beach: "LSD is only available through the mail from California. Not many guys turn on to acid because the ship is small and it's hard to hide yourself. Grass is plentiful and almost one-half the non-career men turn on.

    "May I recommend Singapore for Indian hemp and very cheap — $10 a pound. ZAP!"

    A Seaman 3rd on a communications ship: "Grass is easily available in Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Japan, Subic Bay, P.I. There was one guy who said he'd 'taken' marijuana and then he asked me what 'pot' was—kinda mixed up."

    An E-3 (enlisted man 3rd class) on a ship touring in the Atlantic reports on the scene on the other side of the world:

    "When you hit a foreign port it's as easy to get grass as it is in Tijuana. Acid is practically impossible to get. Speed is fairly easy. In Turkey it's easier to get hash and opium than anything else.

    "In the Caribbean grass is very easy to get. You can get it from the farmers for between $2-$10 a pound. You can buy it in the city for $20-$30 a pound. I'd say at least 50% have tried it.

    "I was stationed at the Nuclear Power School in Vallejo (near San Francisco) for 6 months. I'd say approximately 30% turned on regularly, it could be higher. It is definitely not lower. I don't know whether to attribute that to the intelligence of the personnel there or to the area. I also think if you took a count of the number of servicemen attending the Fillmore and Avalon you would be surprised."

    The reputation of California as a drug scene is such that, as a sailor on the USS Arlington says, "Right away if you're from California you're a hippie or a queer (to the officers). It used to bug me." Here's a report from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey:

    "What available? Just about everything — Grass: Vietnamese, Columbian, Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, and Carmel Valley Local. Then there are the pills that people get through their local friendly dispensary, Darvons have always been very big. At one point last fall I knew that fully 50% of my barracks had at least tried grass. This is only unusual in that there are no Vietnam returnees here. I would guess that 30-35% of the enlisted personnel as DLI turn on. At Fort Ord it's not unusual to find whole companies turning on."

    You don't have to be stationed abroad or in California, though, according to a respondent from Fort Polk, Louisiana:

    "Grass is most popular. Not too hard to hold of. You can always get high because the people in the dispensary always get things. A lot of people smoke, but it is very much discouraged by the MP's. So it's not possible here to turn on in the open. When we do usually we smoke in my room or out in the forest."

    In Germany, one of the largest duty stations outside South East Asia, a PFC reports that "grass is easy, hash is easier, no LSD. I don't deal in other drugs, but if somebody wanted some, it would be only a small hassle. Very few turn on, never openly. The few who do are very tight. Being stoned and listening to music helps you 'get away.'"

    An Airman in Turkey says, "Hashish is fairly easily obtained. The price is about $10 for a stick about 2 fingers wide, and about the length of your middle finger long. Recently seven of my buddies got busted for smoking. One cat thought that he was going to die, so he went to the hospital, and turned everybody in. All of them are currently being nailed to the cross.

    "Generally hash is in fairly widespread use, I'd say that 1/3 of the enlisted men turn on. A lot of the smoking is done in the rooms, although I did see one cat light up a joint in the snackbar."

    Despite paranoid stories in the Berkeley Barb and other underground papers, it does not seem that apprehended or suspected smokers are being sent to the front lines on certain – death missions. While troublemakers may be treated maliciously, inconspicuous marijuana usage is currently being winked at by all branches of the service, although naturally no official statement has been made to this effect.

    The reason is simple — —there are too many men involved, and a full-scale crackdown would make for serious depletions in the ranks, especially among the trained specialists. Individuals at lower levels of command, including senior enlisted men, may go in for harassment as individuals, but the top-level policy is to turn a blind eye to the phenomenon.

    Convicted drug users face discharge, but most often an administrative discharge, which is not dishonorable. Both sailors and Vietnam GI's report cases of men provoking a bust in order to get out of the service.

    Recently some people in the peace movement have been taking an interest in the plight of the large scale slice of this generation unwillingly imprisoned in olive drab. In addition to the organized pacifists and radicals who put out the GI-oriented newspapers The Ally. The Bond, Vietnam GI and others, an organization formed by Fred Gardner of Ramparts Magazine (Summer Of Support) has been establishing coffeehouses in the vicinity of half a dozen Stateside military bases.

    These coffeehouses provide a place to talk and listen to music in an un-military environment. They provide the only taste of freedom and Bohemianism available to the men at the bases, many of which are located in dreary places in the rural South. Tom Cleaver writes about musical tastes at the Oleo, Strut, near Camp Hood, Killeen, Texas:

    "There is more political content than one would probably find in a civilian community, but I think that this is because of the same reasons that black slaves had 'political' music. It is a quiet way of expressing what they think without being too active about it, thus keeping down the possibility of individual visibility."

    Enlisted servicemen make up a lot of people, caught in a particularly nasty and confusing middle-of-things. But it seems plain that it's all one generation, uniformed or not.

    "I feel guilty when I think of the people who resisted and went to jail. That was something I couldn't do. I'm not serving my country, the ones who are in jail are serving their country.

    "There's nothing I can do now but keep stoned. Am I 'passing the buck'? I did go as far as I could. I refused to do anything that had to do with combat."— —A medic in Germany.

    "People who are lucky enough to get CO or 4F classifications have no idea at all how bad it all is. Especially basic training. Girls have no idea at all what we go through. I am at an Army Reception Station where guys come their first five days in the Army, and I've seen the Army drive people to do things I could not believe. Suicides and attempted suicides are regular things.

    "I can only suggest that people with the draft very close do either of two things if they don't think they can handle it. (1) Split—they will never catch you if you're cool, and (2) press for a CO (conscientious objector) very hard." ——Fort Polk, Louisiana.

    "I guess about the only thing that really jucks with my mind is the thought of how foolish this whole ordeal is. Every day I see evidence that indicates the Vietnamese people resent our presence—if they don't want us and we don't want to be here, just what the hell gives?

    "For three weeks in a row, 'Sky Pilot' was number one in Bien Hoa. I keep thinking of the line, 'A young soldier so ill/Looks at the sky pilot, remembers the words, "Thou Shalt Not Kill".' Man, give me some slack, huh. Thank God for the sense of sound." ——An MP in Vietnam.
     
    Sunnydae likes this.
  2. Humey

    Humey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    602
    One of the reasona volunteer army works better, at least in the US. At least they signed up for it. Most of the people mentioned seemed to want to do the least possible while in unfiorm
     
    Sunnydae likes this.
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    I knew pot was a real problem for those young men who returned from VN.

    With it legal now in several states and DC, I wonder how those folks who went to jail feel about it being decriminalized now in the US?

    I am just a hair too young to have been aware of much during VietNam era, but I do remember an older brother whose draft number in 1969 was 3. THREE! He enlisted in the Marines, and never mentioned any drug interactions to me. He might not have since he was 10 years older and it would not have been appropriate conversation in our family.
     
  4. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    231
    I respectfully disagree.

    The draft served America well for most of the 20th century until the unpopular Vietnam War. A clear majority of servicemen in WW1, WW2 & Korea were drafted, not volunteered.

    It was the nature of the war, not military service itself, which caused such horrid results.

    America could barely meet the manpower needs of Iraq/Afghanistan Wars despite being the the 3rd most populous nation on earth. We need a draft again. If the war in question isn't a Vietnam-type conflict, we won't see the awful atmosphere of the late 1960s & early 1970s.

    Scrap the cost of one more unneeded nuclear sub & we could put another 200,000 troops into the Army
     
  5. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    231
    Pot? Hell that wasn't too much of a deal. Not saying it wasn't a problem, mind you.

    The LSD, opium, meth, cocaine and heroin (especially the heroin) that were bigger issues.

    I'll bet the Budweiser and Jack Daniels were worse issues than the pot.
     
  6. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    231
    May 1971 - As Many As 25% of US Army Personnel in Vietnam Using Heroin

    https://www.nytimes.com/1971/05/16/...idemic-in-vietnam-gi-heroin-addiction-is.html

    Like a parent who has suddenly discovered that his son is a junkie, the United States command has reacted with confusion and uncertainty. Should the kid be punished and kicked out of the house? Or should he be encouraged to confess all and be helped to recover?

    The answer of the command has been to try both, but with the heavier emphasis on punishment. Its officers are arguing the basic question of whether the military has a responsibility to go all‐out to cure men they view as weak enough to use heroin. And the command does not want to make treatment of drug users “too attractive” out of fear that more men would turn to heroin just to get out of Vietnam.

    Officially, the command says that it is “fully aware of the extent of the drug‐use problem and is constantly developing new and innovative approaches.” But it will not provide even estimates of the size of the problem, and the approaches it regards as, “new and innovative” are viewed by many of its own officers as haphazard and unsure.

    Overdose Deaths on Rise

    The figure on heroin users most often heard here is about 10 to 15 per cent of the lowerranking enlisted men. Since they make up about 245,000 of the 277,000 American soldiers here, this would represent as many as 37,000 men.

    Some officers working in the drug‐suppression field, however, say that their estimates go as high as 25 per cent, or more than 60,000 enlisted men, most of whom are draftees. They say that some field surveys have reported units with more than 50 per cent of the men on heroin.
     
  7. Humey

    Humey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    602
    I agree the draft served this country well, but for the most part, those type of people who served in WW1, WW2 and Kore dont exist anymore. We are more concerned more about what are rights are then what are reponsibilities are.Of course I dont mean those who now service, go through Rotc and the Acadmies. I am sure that in a draft you would find a percerntage who would serve their country well but you would find a good percerntage who would have ACLU on their speed dial
     
  8. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,062
    Likes Received:
    685
    Worked for a LE Chief who, when he was coming of age & would be drafted, enlisted along with 10 of his friends in order to get into a special unit. They reasoned that their chances of survival were better in a specialized unit over infantry. He was a lifeguard prior to joining and remembered that they went through 3 blenders that summer before enlistment...;) (In those days, the drinking age was 18.)
     
  9. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    970
    I'm not too young to remember the Vietnam War, since my 11 year older brother was there. I do remember seeing this on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite:



    I also remember that in the context of the era in general and the Indochina dumpster fire in particular, this was just another day at the office.
     
  10. jl123

    jl123 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    473
    Media bias did not begin with the new millennium. As in 2018, the 1968 media found the facts to shape the opinion they wanted the public to have. The military had problems in Vietnam, but not to the extent that Rolling Stone and CBS would have the public believe.

    Every organization has dirty laundry that can be used to misrepresent the organization as a whole.
     
    USMCGrunt likes this.
  11. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    706
    Was there (where you?) and never saw the crap you are stating. Yes there were some who indulged but it wasn't the percentage these articles represent. Lets get stoned and go on patrol or job. Government will give you the body bag free of charge. Meth wasn't even invented then. How did they pass Operation Gold Flow? They would have been in LBJ before the Freedom Bird trip.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
    BTCS/USN, USMCGrunt and jl123 like this.
  12. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    706
    In case you don't remember back to the old days that LBG is Long Bin Jail and the Freedom Bird was a trip home. I guess you just don't remember through that cloud of smoke.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
    BTCS/USN likes this.
  13. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2016
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    449
    Brother, if you have to explain it........just saying
     
  14. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    706
    Just have to explain and question these stupid comments.
     
    BTCS/USN likes this.
  15. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    231
    Meth sure was invented then (during Vietnam War). At least the Montgomery County (Tennessee) Sheriff's Department thinks so.

    Source: https://mcgtn.org/sheriff/meth-history

    During World War II, amphetamines were widely used to keep the fighting men going (during the Vietnam War, American soldiers used more amphetamines than the rest of the world did during WWII). In Japan, intravenous methamphetamine abuse reached epidemic proportions immediately after World War II, when supplies stored for military use became available to the public.

    In the United States in the 1950s, legally manufactured tablets of both dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methamphetamine (Methedrine) became readily available and were used non medically by college students, truck drivers, and athletes. As use of amphetamines spread, so did their abuse. Amphetamines became a cure-all for such things as weight control to treating mild depression.

    Another Source: https://militaryhistorynow.com/2017/02/27/combat-high-a-sobering-history-of-drug-use-in-wartime/

    The Americans continued to boost their troops with amphetamine in the Korean War where the administration of dextroamphetamine became commonplace. The conflict also saw American servicemen stationed in Korea and Japan concocting their own speed balls – an injectable mixture of amphetamine and heroin. But it was the Vietnam War where the consumption of psychoactive substances by servicemen both prescribed by the authorities and self-prescribed by individual soldiers assumed alarming proportions. Authorized speed-popping was rampant. Between 1966 and 1969 the military issued 225 million dextroamphetamine tablets. According to the Pentagon, while in 1968 some 50 percent of American soldiers in Vietnam took drugs, in 1973, the year of the U.S. withdrawal, this jumped to 70 percent. Half of the servicemen doing drugs smoked marihuana, and nearly 30 percent took heroin and opium.

    Another Source: https://theoakstreatment.com/ptsd/drug-addiction-military/

    The demoralizing and controversial Vietnam War (1959-1975) brought its own set of problems for the American soldier. As the war dragged on, soldiers became restless and miserable and looked to self-medicate. The drug culture in the United States was exploding with drugs like marijuana, psychedelics and amphetamines. Bored soldiers turned toward marijuana much like their peers back home in the states. After a crackdown on marijuana forced soldiers to stop using it, many switched to smoking cigarettes with heroin. An estimated 20 percent of soldiers reported a heroin addiction by the time they left Vietnam.
     
  16. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2014
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    231
    [/QUOTE] I agree the draft served this country well, but for the most part, those type of people who served in WW1, WW2 and Kore dont exist anymore. We are more concerned more about what are rights are then what are reponsibilities are.Of course I dont mean those who now service, go through Rotc and the Acadmies. I am sure that in a draft you would find a percerntage who would serve their country well but you would find a good percerntage who would have ACLU on their speed dial[/QUOTE]

    I disagree.

    Upon entering World War One in 1917 the US was a pretty divided country. Labor vs. corporations resulted in violence that saw hundreds killed every year. Imagine that today? Cops were much less professional and corrupt. And more trigger happy than today. The nation's overall health wasn't anywhere near as good as we have it today. Race relations? Hell, lynchings occurred weekly, if not more often. Disparity between rich & poor? Tremendous. Anti-semitism? Widespread. And about one third of the draft-age men of the US were either immigrants or sons of immigrants. Couldn't speak English. Had relatives in the armies of Germany & Austria-Hungary. Irish immigrants who hated the Brits with a passion. General anti-war sentiment? Fairly commonplace. Etc.

    A lot of people thought a wartime draft would result in riots and would be impossible to enforce. A disaster waiting to happen.

    They were wrong. The draft was overwhelmingly successful and draftees served with honor (Sgt. Alvin York, for example). I think a draft in the USA of 2018 would be even more successful and have the ancillary benefit of uniting Americans from varying regions, races, religions, backgrounds. Americanism is a powerful force. And troops left the army after the war feeling less "Southern" or "Greek" or "Jewish" or "Polish" and a lot more "American".

    Read "The Long Way Home: An American Journey from Ellis Island to the Great War" by David Laskin. You'll have tears in your eyes and be chanting "USA!" by the time you finish the final chapter. Inspiring stuff.

    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lo...8PzFxfu62gIVg4KzCh1CtwAeEAQYAiABEgJQQ_D_BwE#/

    And:

    http://legacy.wbur.org/2011/11/11/great-war-veteran

    The U.S. drafted him, but the Italian army wanted him, too. Author Laskin says even though Antonio Pierro had left Italy only four years before and could barely speak English, he chose to fight in the U.S. Army.

    Tony joined the All-American Division with young men from every state. He and other foreign-born soldiers — mainly Italians, Jews and Poles — boarded the same steamer ships on which they’d come to America only a few years before, to sail back across the Atlantic to Europe.

    Tony Pierro fought in France in the artillery. The heavy guns bombarded opposing trenches with shrapnel and poison gas. When the smoke cleared, the infantry charged the trenches. Around 1,000 Americans died each day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  17. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    706
    It takes a big cooking lab to make Meth. Don't think it was available in Nam in your hooch. Maybe in Tennessee out by the still. See the New York City Riots during the Civil War for draft riots.
     
  18. eljay60

    eljay60 AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    200
    It's easy to draft powerless people. There were always loopholes in the draft which allowed the sons of the elite and wealthy a 'legitimate' way out. College was the big one - once upon a time (not so long ago, in the 1950s, anyway), you couldn't get into college without a recommendation from your high school. So Judge Schmuckatelli's son wasn't 1A, but the sons of every color on the other side of the tracks sure were. Or 'reserve' service before 9/11, when being in the reserves meant you never deployed. There is a reason why the last US president with active military service did so in WWII, despite us being in pretty much continuous foreign conflicts ever since. Bush, Sr literally joined the Navy on his 18th birthday, six months after Pearl Harbor, when war fever was at it's height. The non-elite population is better informed now (thanks, internet!), and if the draft returned, especially for a foreign war being fought for primarily corporate interests, there would be lots of asthma and peanut allergies cropping up. And there would be rafts of physicians waiting to write prescriptions for Prozac. Wasn't there a top marine recently who said only 30-40% of the target age group was even eligible for military service?

    There will always be anecdotes about draftees who made good in the service, but there are a lot who came back changed for the worse, or didn't come back at all. It has been over 40 years since we had unwilling recruits doing basic training. The culture of conscripted service is gone from the military - which I (obviously) consider for the best given the responsibility and skills these young people need to use the high-tech equipment they go to war with. I want the woman doing maintenance on that million dollar plane to want to be there.
     
    AROTC-dad likes this.
  19. bruno

    bruno 10-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,066
    Likes Received:
    458
    I'm certain that the Army is a whole bunch better for being a volunteer Army- it's a professional Army and it's composed mostly of Soldiers who want to be there as opposed to Soldiers who are forced to be there and I can attest that the Army made huge improvements once the last vestiges of the draft Army were eradicated (and we got some decent pay raises- Ronald Reagan will be first in my heart forever after with the 15% pay raise that we got immediately after he was inaugurated!). We would never have been able to sustain 17 years of Soldiers in Afghanistan with a draft Army. However, I'm not so sure if the society is better for eliminating the draft. It seems to me that military service was one of those shared experiences that bound the country together- now military service is performed by an ever smaller slice of the population. We've been more or less at war since 2001- but how much of the population even knows or cares ? (Other than some bloviating politician who is making some speech for the benefit of the TV cameras?). So while I know the Army is better off as a volunteer Army, I'm not sure how much better off the country as a whole is by the elimination of any kind of service and sacrifice from its citizens.
     
    Humey, AROTC-dad and kinnem like this.
  20. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    3,787
    +1 Bruno

    I think that SOME sort of mandated service to country would be a good thing.

    It would not necessarily have to be military. It could be in service support of the military, as in through the Red Cross, or other out reach programs. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps are other examples. This would ideally allow young people to focus more on helping others and less on themselves.