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Draft created one of finest militaries

To the editor: Lindy's column(Oct. 18 in New York Mills Herald) is probably correct in that in any draft system (maybe any system) money and power will allow some people to beat the system. I suspect this was true when the first cave man discover...

To the editor:

Lindy's column(Oct. 18 in New York Mills Herald) is probably correct in that in any draft system (maybe any system) money and power will allow some people to beat the system. I suspect this was true when the first cave man discovered that if he had two clam shells he could give one to someone else to have them perform some unsavory task he didn't want to do himself. If he had dozens he could nearly rule the world or at least his small part of it. No surprises there.

One of the things the draft brought, though, was one of the finest militaries any country ever fielded. Disregarding the very small percentage of those who avoided, evaded or fled the draft, the military was largely composed of a cross section of the American population. Those that still remember the 60's as a time of rebellion and civil disobedience may miss out on the fact that Americans have never been big on being ordered around and have always been independent thinkers. Volunteers' expect to be ordered about, draftees resent being. As a result our military personnel had a diversity of backgrounds, education, maturity and life skills coupled with the ability to think independently when there was a lack of immediate supervision.

So Lindy is right, some will always find a way to weasel out of their responsibilities, but the draft system, flawed as it was, brought advantages difficult or maybe impossible to get with an all volunteer military.

The all volunteer military I met in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield and Desert Storm were as fine a group of Americans you would ever want, or hope, to meet but they did not have that diversity of backgrounds. In that conflict it probably didn't matter as much but in the current action in Iraq think how much less likely some of the shameful moments would have been with an American cross section serving rather than an American subset.

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Marshall Brown

Perham

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