May 11, 2006

Almost eighteen

It came yesterday for my oldest son.

A red, white, and blue form from the selective service.

44 comments:

Teri said...

Ugh.

And why do they call it selective? By the time they institute a draft, they'll take any warm body.

peripateticpolarbear said...

Oh. (o)

nancy said...

*Gasp*

ccw said...

((hugs))

Marcia said...

Jo(e), I'm so sorry.

KathyR said...

I wondered about how that worked. I thought maybe you had to pick up the form at school or the post office or something. But it just appears, huh? --shudder--

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

I got chills reading that.

Yankee T said...

{{shuddering}}

sheepish said...

Wow.

I remember being quite put off when I got mine some fourteen or fifteen years ago, and it was a far more calm situation back then. Nobody was going to get drafted to win the arms race. Let's hope a draft never comes again.

Scrivener said...

Shit.

I remember being kind of freaked out filling out mine, a couple of years before Sheepish did. Scary, messed up times.

I'm sorry.

Mona Buonanotte said...

My stomach just cramped up. In a few years, I'll be you and you can walk me through that mom-fear.

Rana said...

Damnit.

Brace yourself for the deluge of recruiting mail that will follow in its wake; I was talking with one of our student workers about this, and he was justifiably outraged at the way they would just NOT leave him alone.

If you want to start building him a conscientious objector status, do it now. The years of involvement are a factor in whether they choose to grant it, as are formal affiliations with passifist organizations. Enroll him in a Quaker church, have him sign up for peace organizations, etc.

Rana said...

pacifist

I'm so angry on the behalf of all these young men, I can't type.

Phantom Scribbler said...

*sharp intake of breath*

BeachMama said...

That really scares me. Hugs to you.

Not Scott said...

Got a route mapped to Canada yet?

comebacknikki said...

Oh no! :(

jo(e) said...

Rana: He has already been looking into building a conscientious objector file. He is writing his opposition to war, any war, on his form and xeroxing it before he sends it in.

I told him that he had to make sure he was against all wars, not just this particular one, and he looked at me and said, "Mom, I've never even been in a fistfight. Violence is never a solution to anything."

joanna said...

you must be very proud of him--he sounds like a thoughtful, responsible teenager.

Honeybee said...

My "little" brother turned 18 last month. Haven't heard about him receiving his card, but he probably did.
Unfortunately, this is the kid who wants to either be a cop or run a gun shop/shooting range.

(Considering my mother's stance on guns, I really have no idea where that came from. Media? Peer pressure?)

Beanie Baby said...

(This is where I sound completely ignorant.)

What does that mean? We don't have that here. I know it has something to do with a draft but I don't know what.

I'm really sorry, jo(e). Good luck building that file.

Jesse said...

I dont think I was mailed one when I turned 18. I do recall having to go to the post office and fill out the form.

I also remember wasting recruiters time by talking to them on the phone for a very long time. Only to, in the end, ask them if there was any art stuff to do in the military.

This was always met with a 'No', some awkward silence and the end of the call.

My mom wasted the recruiters time too, if she got the call I was not at home.

Good times.

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Oh, I'm so sorry.
I sincerely hope that it is never anything more than a piece of paper.

jo(e) said...

Beanie Baby: All men have to register when they turn eighteen so that the government has the info if there is a draft. Failure to register is a felony.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

oh, that gives me the chills.

Good plan to work on the conscientious objector file. Now it's just up to the rest of us to try to make sure that he NEVER needs to use it.

OTRgirl said...

Caught a rerun of M*A*S*H last night. One character asked the Alan Alda character, "And what happens if everyone goes psychcotic and decides to quit fighting?! What will we have then, hmm?!"

He snaps back, "Peace?"

I love your son's answer about violence.

Jessica said...

Reading this made me nauseous, Jo(e).

Bardiac said...

Ugh, chilling.

I remember when the reinstituted registration and several of my friends had to do it.

I'm glad to hear he's working on the conscientious objector status already.

If there's a good side, it's that the military really doesn't like the idea of a draft from what I read.

cheesehead said...

Sigh...I was in your shoes one year ago (my son turns 19 in 5 weeks or so) I feel your pain.

He waited several months to actually go and do the deed. He thought long and hard. I told him I would love him no matter what he did.

Friday Mom said...

Sigh.

I'm sorry.

His response though gives me a glimmer of hope for this world.

landismom said...

So glad that he is building his file already. That is pretty incredible about the mail. I remember when my brother was close to 18, the recruiters would come to our house during the day, when my dad was at work. It always pissed me off mightily.

Peri said...

You're raising a great young man, but what a horrifying way to be reminded of that. It makes me sick to think of anyone's child having to take part in a war of any kind. Your son is in my prayers tonight along with all of his peers. What a crazy world we've created for them.

kathy a said...

my son got that letter about a year ago, not long before he turned 18. he ignored it. they wrote back, and he eventually sent the form in.

what choice do they have? it is just registration, no draft yet, and all kinds of consequences for not registering.

the past few months, my son has been getting all this fancy mail from the armed services, wanting him to enlist. and my daughter, who is only 17, has been getting some too.

it all makes me so anxious. i'm 48 now -- people just a year or so older than me had draft numbers, during the vietnam war. i've known people who fought and came back very scarred, but not necessarily in visible ways.

MonkeyPants said...

Oh, Jo(e), no.

(o).

zelda1 said...

I remember when my son got his. Even though there was no war going on, it was still a moment when I realized that I wasn't always going to be able to control what sorts of things he saw or what happened to him. I vowed that if a war came and he got drafted, I was hiding him in the basement. However, he tried to enlist a year later and because of his knees, he was denied. All those years of his knees giving him hell and having surgery and the tears of watching him learn to walk again and hating that he grew so tall so fast and his knees didn't catch up and were crushed by his giant bones, all that, and then it was his knees that kept him from going where both his friends ended up going, my son was spared.

Lisa V said...

Oh jo(e).

Kelly said...

Oh, man. So sorry. I dread that moment. Best of luck to your son in building his file.

Rev Dr Mom said...

(o)

Horrible.

cloudscome said...

My son got that and then "forgot" to send it in, until he had to apply for college financial aid. Then they make it so easy for you... just a check box in with all the other questions on the aid forms. sigh. And yes, all the recruiting mail comes....

I confess it is the only US Mail I have ever hidden from him and thrown out.

peripateticpolarbear said...

What I don't understand is this: they have your son's address and his date of birth? Why do they even need him to fill out a form. They know where he lives anyway.

jo(e) said...

PPB: Yeah, it doesn't really make much sense. The info they ask for is info that they already have ....

Terminaldegree said...

(o)

TweedleDea said...

Jo(e), I am not sure if you will see this since it is old, but I read your blog in sessions. I leave it until I have waited long enough then I stay up late and get caught up. This way I get fully saturated. Anyhow this entry confused me, I am Canadian and we don't have anything like this. So I read the comments, and got sad. I had to say something, especially since I tend to be really opinionated. So off to my blog I went. If you want you can see what I wrote, a link should send you there. Anyhow thanks, I like that you stimulate me and make me think in a creative and thoughful manner.

jo(e) said...

Thanks, Twiddledea.