The Draft

December 3, 2009
By JackBreves SILVER, Bethesda, Maryland
JackBreves SILVER, Bethesda, Maryland
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"(Laugh). That's funny. You say that as if I should care."

My English class is reading The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien. This book is about a platoon in the Vietnam War. Our teacher, who was a teenager like us at the time of the war, often describes vivid memories of what it was like to witness her classmates going off to war. She explained the 1968 draft to every detail. I remember coming into class one day and seeing on the board a list of birthdays with a number next to them. This was how they drafted men to serve in the army. Each birthday had a number; the higher the number, the sooner you’d be drafted. Out of 366 birthdays, mine was 202. This wasn’t a number that would send me into Vietnam.

Ever since that day, I couldn’t help thinking what I would do if I got a draft notice. I had always wondered if there would be a draft for the Afghanistan War what I would do. I find myself playing the image of myself finding a draft notice in the mail for me one day after I came home from school.

It was hard for me to determine if I would be shocked, surprised, scared, or anything else, but one thing was clear; I would go to war. Seeing as my only other option is fleeing the country, I would rather die a hero and live a coward. Throughout these imaginations, I keep picturing people. I keep seeing my mom, sobbing her eyes out over the fact that her little boy is off to war, and he might not come back. I keep seeing my father, who I know would try to take me to Canada. I see all my friends, who hopefully none of which would have to join me. Worst of all, I keep seeing myself on the front line; standing in the face of mortal peril, only praying to God I’d be alright.

So often do I have to explain myself about being drafted. Most people say they’d flee. I could never do that. They all just look at me, stunned. What? It’s not that I wouldn’t rather stay and not get drafted, but, like I said before, I’d rather die a hero than live a coward. What is so wrong about that?

The author's comments:
I have begun to write a story of the Vietnam Era. A boy is to be drafted in the military. The story will be about the pain everyone goes through, and his adament decision of serving.

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