In the 1968-69 timeframe, the government decided to do away with the draft and create an all-volunteer armed service. This idea of a completely volunteer armed service was met with a little skepticism at the beginning, but it eventually evolved into the outstanding force we have today.
After working out the wrinkles in Panama and Granada, the first real test of this force was Desert Storm. That action was the baptism under fire of this all-volunteer force and they far exceeded all expectations. After September 11, 2001, everything changed for our men and women in uniform. For the first time in our recent history, and not since World War II, America was involved in a two-front war with troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Granted, this action was in no way to be compared to World War II. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the total number of troops numbered less than 500,000.
These brave men and women, some of whom have had 2, 3 or even 4 tours of duty, in conjunction with the new role the National Guard and Reserves have been asked to take on, augmenting the regular Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force in combat zones. Some of these Guard and Reserve units have also been called up 2, 3 and even 4 times to serve in the hostile dangerous war zones. The strain on the servicemen and women as well as their families has been enormous.
This nation owes a great deal of thanks to this stalwart 1% that keep us free and are willing to give up all of their tomorrows so that we can enjoy today. I am glad to report that these brave warriors have been given the utmost support. They are greeted by many outstanding groups of folks, locally the Pease Greeters and many groups similar to it around the country and are given high praise and are appreciated far better than those who served during the time when the draft was ended.
But even those still hurting from the awful reception they received returning from Vietnam were very pleased and indeed thankful for the recent Welcome Home event in April for the Vietnam Veterans at the National Guard Facility in Concord, New Hampshire.
This brave 1% is to be thanked and remembered every day for what they do for this nation – support and appreciation for our troops and their families. They are willing to give all, and we all need to do whatever we can to help those who give so much, any time anywhere.
As a nation, we are very fortunate that we have such brave men and women willing to step up and defend our freedom. We are fortunate indeed. A grateful Nation can never forget such fine men and women.
Jim Adams is Chairman of Granite State Taxpayers