“I take a back seat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans,” Mr. McCain said. “I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did.”This was in response to Sen. Obama's criticism of Sen. McCain due to his opposition to the new GI Bill. When Obama learned McCain opposed the New GI Bill he said:
“I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country. But I can’t understand why he would line up behind the president in opposition to this G.I. Bill.”And thus Sen. McCain's response, above.
Given that when Sen. Obama turned 18 there was no draft and, like today, we had an all-volunteer military, my first of two questions is this:
Is there anything wrong, in a time of an all-volunteer military, with Sen. Obama - like the vast majority of Americans - not choosing to enlist?
If there is something wrong with that, why does that just apply to Sen. Obama and not to the vast majority of American citizens who have not volunteered to serve since the draft ended in 1973? Of course it would apply to all of them too. Sen. McCain just insulted the majority of the American voting public, implying that they did wrong when, just like Sen. Obama, they did not voluntarily enlist in the military.
And if a citizen is not doing wrong if they don't enlist, how is Sen. McCain's response in any way relevant to the debate over the New GI Bill - a bill designed to help those who DID volunteer, in a time of war, to serve in the military? Why does Sen. Obama's not enlisting - like 98% of his peers and all young men since then - mean that Sen. McCain is right to oppose this New GI Bill to help those who have served since 9/11? Of course the answer is IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NEW GI BILL.
Most people don't voluntarily enlist. I chose to do so, and I am glad I did so, but I never thought less of my fellow citizens who did not want to join the Army. I never thought they were second-class citizens or that they lacked patriotism. Apparently Sen. McCain does.
So on to my second question, with a quick fact for those who don't know me: I am a US Army infantry veteran who enlisted, served as a rifleman, drill sergeant, and commissioned infantry officer. I am proud of my service.
I don't know why my second question should only come from veterans, but it seems important to Sen. McCain. So here it is, Senator McCain: from someone who did choose to serve in uniform:
Why is Sen. McCain opposed to providing the same opportunity and recognition to this generation of combat veterans as our nation provided for our World War Two veterans?
It seems to me that this generation of veterans deserves it - especially since they are ALL volunteers, and this generation of soldiers has seen more combat - MUCH MORE - than did the generation of soldiers who fought World War Two.
This is not (or should not be) a conservative/liberal question, a red state/blue state question. This should be about whether this new GI Bill is something today's new veterans deserve.
I think they deserve it. Why don't you, Senator McCain?
FYI I am not speaking out of self-interest. I am not a veteran who will benefit from this new GI Bill - I was out of the military and a civilian attending law school on 9/11, and Sen. Webb's new GI Bill only benefits those veterans who have served in wartime since 9/11 - thus not me.