March 05, 2013

For the record

For the record

By federal law, all male citizens of this country must register with the Selective Service within thirty days of their eighteenth birthday. Failure to register is a felony.

The hands in this photo belong to my youngest son, With-a-Why, who is eighteen years old. He wrote on his registration card: "I am opposed to war in all forms." Then he signed it, made a photocopy, and sent it in.

10 comments:

beemama said...

Me too, With-a-Why.

Lomagirl said...

Hurray for him! While I hate that they have to register for selective service, I also think it's terribly sexist that only men have to!
Hopefully by the time my children turn 18 they will have abolished a standing army. (Or we'll have moved to Costa Rica!)

Annette said...

Good for you, With a Why!

Kyla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyla said...

18?! Makes me feel old. :)

nimiecat said...

A south paw. How many of your kids are left handed? Both my girls are. My Husband and Mother are, too.

chicago foodie girl said...

With-a-Why rocks!

twofrisch said...

I think I remember when you wrote about Boy in Black doing this, too. It doesn't seem that long ago, but I guess it is.

jo(e) said...

Boy-in-Black did it, and then Shaggy Hair Boy did as well. All three of my sons.

patrick said...

There are touchstone moments in my life and registering for the draft is one of them. I still vividly recall sitting in the Selective Service office, which was located in the Federal Building in downtown Toledo. While the war in Vietnam was winding down by the time I turned 18, being drafted was still very much a scary proposition. For so many years, the dead and injured counts on the nightly news, as well as reports of the atrocities such as My Lai had changed my attitude toward war, which up until then, of course, had been coloured by our heroic World War II victory. With our toy weapons and medic kits and rations, my friends and I played army outdoors; indoors we played with our little green soldiers and their tanks and jeeps and planes and howitzers on war-milieu-printed mylar battlegrounds spread out on the floor.

Television series Combat was a favourite, as was McHale's Navy and Hogan's Heroes, and all (the latter two even more, I suppose, since they were comedies) whitewashed the most ugly aspects of war. The black-and-white evil-versus-good scenarios impressed upon us in school about the World Wars turned into many variants of grey as Vietnam dragged on. The murder of student protesters at Kent State made Vietnam's effect on the nation even more palpable as the war made its way stateside.

I often wonder how it is that I am so very different than my three brothers in the way I think about the world. I am less materialistic, more interested in art and music, more politically aware (and liberal to boot) more environmentally-conscious, less interested in drinking, more interested in eating healthy, more empathetic to less-fortunate people. For some reason, I tend to trace it back to the moment I sat in the Selective Service office, registering to enter into the real world.