From hubby while we were in Belgium:
This a bit delayed as I traveled this weekend to Brussels to attend a conference at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE/NATO). I'll write about that when I return, but I just wanted send a quick note out to say hi--most of my week was preparing our presentation for this conference--so it was long days but fairly boring staff work.
I did have a chance to write my oldest son this week. He has been interested in attending a military academy for some time. Apparently, some folks have been giving him a hard time about this when they have asked about his career goals, and he wrote me telling me about that. It is a sad statement of our society that we have people that would discourage a young man from service--it is a fundamental responsibility of those in a free society, to be willing to serve when called upon.
In our current system of volunteer military service, not all are required to serve, but some are. While we all want our children to be safe, I believe it is our responsibility to talk to them about what it takes to maintain our society, to include military and civic service, so they can consider their own duties and how to make the most of the talents they have been given.
It is obvious that these kinds of conversations happen less and less in American homes. I was curious about this phenomenon in the church and looked at census results to see what that would show. The average veteran population in the US is 7%, If you go to population centers with a heavy LDS population like Orem/Provo or Logan Utah, the veteran population is around 4%. You'd have to look at demographics to be sure there was a trend (i.e. older veterans may move from colder climates in Utah), but I think that is statistically significant enough to suggest that as a people, we are not having these kinds of conversations with our kids.
Anyway, it is something for me to consider further. Ultimately, most will not serve, but I hope some of our best will. I'll do a better job in my email this weekend.