Dear President Trump,
Please bring back the Draft - you know, the one that isn’t about sports. The one that IS about, dare I say it (?) - defense of one’s country. A lifetime ago it rocked my world. So much so that I enlisted in the Green Berets. Truth be told I got out as soon as I could after learning of mandatory ‘time in service’ requirements following each phase of speciality training that I had chosen :-(
I was watching the NFL games this past week and noticed the sad truth: Our upside down gridiron heroes don’t really know how to express clearly what they want to say as individuals (that freedom of speech without repercussion thing). That poor Pittsburgh Steeler who’s heart overloaded his head as he ran out of the tunnel to stand strong and proud with hand over heart during the National Anthem (ex-military?). They collectively disrespected the one symbol that unites all Americans through the good times and the bad, in order to bring immediate attention to what? Ask anyone today, and I guarantee you will hear several different answers to the question…
So why the Draft.
Back in the day when kids were taught English vocabulary (not the almost words/almost sentences they use today) there existed one word that describes what THEY seek, what WE all seek…PARITY. Parity is equality in status and pay. It is yet another righteous thing that all Americans are entitled to earn. True, not all get the chance, and I find this extremely disheartening. Parity is a baseline everyone should experience at least once in their life to know it firsthand and yes, the military is where it can be found for all. Basic training and ‘jump school’ (airborne training) come to mind. In ‘basic’ “I” becomes “We". In jump school rank means nothing, officers and privates share each others pain and fear. Together you are broken down, shown your limits, and rebuilt to share your new self-awareness as a member of this country’s Armed Forces. Individuality…self confidence…self pride the feeling of accomplishment…It is yours for the remainder of life here on earth.
Yeah…yeah…yeah - -you’re thinking, this writer is ex-career military and selling recruitment - trust me I’m not. I’m trying to say parity should be put back in our daily vocabulary. But when professional athletes (who do not earn the same $$ as the guy next to them), owners who’s financial worth’s are in the stratosphere, and coaches, who are somewhere in the middle, take a knee in front of hundreds of thousands of team followers world-wide (aka ‘fans’) during our Country’s National Anthem the last thing they represent is equality - especially in status.
I anxiously await the National Football League’s announcement (followed by all the other leagues of professional’s) that the players union’s have matched the team owners contributions to ship cargo ships full of supplies to Puerto Rico (you know that part of America that has been totally destroyed by mother nature as fellow Americans send what relief they can to rebuild). Come on guy’s show us your Patriotism (if it exists). Be a part of our Country at it’s finest…embrace Patriotism…. SHOW RESPECT FOR OUR FLAG…give Parity a try - you just might learn a lot about yourself….
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My name is Mick (I’m a poet)