Originally created 10/14/06

Youth could benefit from military draft

Your Oct. 1 editorial "Ganging up on the gang problem" quoted Augusta State University Athletic Director Clint Bryant, saying, "the end of the military draft is one of the contributors to the problem" of gang activities in the area. That is true.

His and my generations were saved by the draft - a safety net that provided much-needed employment opportunities for our age group, in addition to a structured environment, discipline, a chance to travel, medical care and educational benefits after service through the G.I. Bill.

Just the other day, my friend mentioned the same thing. He told me how he was drafted while in Atlantic City, N.J., busing dishes. He couldn't afford college, just as many other teenagers of his era couldn't, and there weren't many well-paying jobs for high school graduates.

While I agree that schools, churches, government and concerned citizens can and should play a part in bringing the problem of gang-related activities under control, these groups fall short in achieving any measurable success. In addition, we need something that is more sure and sustainable - like the military - to save our youths from where they are now heading.

We need the draft again!

High crime among today's youths and a shrinking military population make the draft a viable tool in helping solve both problems.

By the way, my friend benefited greatly from the draft. He is now retired from the postal service, and is a proud homeowner in Augusta. This is just one example of what the military draft did. It saved a young man who otherwise may have been lost. I imagine there are thousands and thousands of other such instances.

Can you imagine what his life and many others would've been like had they not been drafted into the service?

Grady Abrams



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