The Vietnam War Draft Essay

1747 words - 7 pages

Being a young adult between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five can be very difficult. I know this because I am twenty-two years old. At this age, there are many concerns about the future and a career. Making many important decisions which will affect the rest of your life is common during these ages. This is the age when the majority of people are getting married, having families, and buying houses of their own. Many young men and women of this age group are graduating from college and ready to start their careers. Being a young adult can be very challenging; however, it can be the best time of life. These aspects of a young adult's life were not that much different during the Vietnam time period. Unfortunately, many of these men were not able to make these decisions. Millions of men were forced, drafted, into a battle that many "considered to be illegal and immoral (Maxwell 37). It's hard to imagine basically being forced to put life on hold, leave family, and risk life fighting a war. Some men were opposed to the draft, and were determined to find ways to avoid it; on the other hand, many men accepted the terms of the draft. I believe a person has a right to make his own decision about fighting in a war. In the Vietnam time era, the concerns of a man who was getting drafted went from bettering his and his families’ life to deciding to go to war or find an alternative. Going to war meant personal hardships, loss of income, leaving family, and potential of losing one's life. I can understand a person’s determination to avoid the draft. Whatever choice the men made, the consequences were dangerous and sometimes deadly. Until 1973, the choices of draft age men were to serve in the military, receive a deferment if qualified and available, flee the country, or go to jail.
Donald W. Maxwell reveals during the Vietnam time era 26.8 million men were of draft age. Eight million seven hundred thousand men served in the military during this time period; however, only about 2.2 million served in Vietnam (37). Of these, 2.2 million men fighting in Vietnam over one-third of these men were drafted (Vietnam-War.info). That is about 740,000 men. It took a lot of courage, patriotism, and bravery to accept the terms of the draft and serve in the military. This might have seemed like the only way for some men. Some men, in hope of avoiding deployment, voluntarily joined the Reserves or National Guard (Maxwell 37). Lois Romano, a newspaper editor for the Washington Post, illustrates George W. Bush served as Texas Air National Guard, which is thought of by many as an attempt to avoid deployment (A08). When these men left for war, over 8,000 miles from home, their family and friends must have been distraught (Vietnam-War.info). It is hard to imagine a young child, not understanding much about the war, see his or her father leave. I'm sure this had many psychological effects on the child, especially if the father did not...

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