Everywhere I go, from the local bar to the movie theater, people are talking about the possible war with Iraq.
There is even the unfounded fear of a national draft.
But if Bush somehow institutes a draft, I am willing to defend my country.
A week ago, I had the honor of interviewing Philadelphia’s Homeland Defense Liaison, Judge Seamus McCaffrey.
McCaffrey said that out of all his achievements, he is most proud of his 20-plus years of service in the military.
He showed me a wall adorned with medals and awards, his legacy of dedication and success, which made me look at my feelings toward the military and the current war environment.
McCaffrey is one person in a long line of brave men and women who made the choice to defend their country.
When he was growing up, young men welcomed the thought of serving in military.
However, McCaffrey said that today, attitudes are different.
After seeing his pride, contrasted with my own attitude, I agree with him.
Some of my friends outright refuse to take involvement in the military.
Their reasons are that it is not their war and everything is Bush’s fault, so they have no reason to heed his call to arms.
They act like they exist in an isolated world and war cannot affect them.
Even my girlfriend responded negatively when I told her of my will to fight if my country asked me.
She said she would be angry that I decided to put myself in danger, and it should never be necessary for me to go.
After talking to McCaffrey, these responses bother me.
My decision is not about who’s right or wrong.
I just think it is sad to hide behind someone else’s son and daughter with a false sense of security.
Enlisting in the military is not a career decision for me, and I have strong doubts that a draft will ever be instituted.
However, I believe we all should make the choice to do our part for our country.
It does not matter if our war with Iraq is legitimate. We all see the news reports.
Only President Bush can stop the war machine, which shows no signs of slowing down.
I am not eager to experience a war.
However, I refuse to fear living in my own country.
Foreign disdain for the U.S. has existed for years, but al-Qaeda has taken things to a new level.
They have brought their hatred to our home and we cannot hide anymore.
I may not volunteer to fight, but if I am called to fight, I have no fear.
To back down is unfair to the men and women who volunteer to protect everyone who resides in this country.
Jonathan Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org