Monday, July 02, 2007

A Call for Leadership

A Washington Post op-ed by retired Army Colonel Jeff McCausland. Read the whole thing. Click here.

Who Will Sound The Call To Service?

A soldier's day was once regulated by bugle calls, from morning reveille to chow call at noon to retreat at sunset and taps late at night. Thus the phrase "to answer the bugle call" has been used to describe citizens responding to a national threat. Those who rise to this call to defend their country are the young, and they sacrifice accordingly.

We witnessed this during World War II with my father's generation. We heard it clearly in the words of John F. Kennedy, who told us to ask not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country. But we've also witnessed serious divisions.

Our nation has been in a state of war for nearly six years. American forces have been in Iraq for more than four years, a longer commitment than during World War II. A new generation has risen to defend us once again, but strangely this time there has been no bugle call. No leader has made a broad appeal for service in a time of need, and no real request has been made for most Americans to sacrifice in any way. Most of us go about our daily lives unaffected by the trauma and tragedy that occur daily in Iraq and Afghanistan, whether we support the war or oppose it.
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If we are to survive as a nation with our values intact, then we must find leaders willing to make the call. Leaders who will call us to serve each other, to serve in our towns and cities, churches and schools and, if needed, in the military -- leaders who will urge us to care for these young veterans and their families in need of our help for many years to come.

This coming together to meet a challenge has always been one of our nation's greatest strengths, and we need that strength now.

OK, Mr. X, how about you?


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