Friday, June 24, 2016
Who Fights Our Wars? Volunteers
This week my family and I volunteered at GAIN, a ministry that sends food, clothes, seeds and other supplies to refugees around the world.
On Tuesday and Wednesday I was sorting clothes with a guy named Bill. He is a retired soldier who enrolled in ROTC the same year I enlisted in 1972. Bill retired after 22 years of active duty. He served in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down then went to the Gulf War and retired in 1993.
We talked about living in Germany, eating C-Rations and starting our military careers during the Draft. Both of us like the draft Army better. His fist command was a mechanized mortar platoon. Bill told me about one of his draft soldiers who was a math whiz and could set up accurate fire with his "Four-Deuce" 4.2-inch mortars faster than more experienced soldiers.
I told him about my gunner who was a mess as a soldier, but a brilliant gunner. We both liked an Army with soldiers who did not want to serve, but served anyway.
Bill knew David Petraeus when both of them were young officers. Bill said Petraeus was known as a problem-solver who could fix anything that was screwed up from the time he was first commissioned.
He was, of course, sad about how Petraeus ended his career. Bill was also sad when I told him that Petraeus was now leading a group with Astronaut/Veteran Mark Kelley to regulate guns. Bill is both very pro-gun and knows how good Petraeus can be with a tough problem.
Bill drove home to Virginia last night, but will be back to volunteer for GAIN. I just signed up as a volunteer for the Petraeus group. Bill won't be volunteering for that one.