The current situation in Ukraine begs for some action on our part that doesn’t lead to an immediate explosion, and I have a suggestion:

Reinstate the draft. Without forcing the issue, it says what I believe is needed to be said. We are united. We are ready. We will not be pushed around.

Don’t tell me about what’s bad about a draft. My brother and I (the only children in our household) were drafted together in World War II.

Our father was blind, and our mother worked my father’s job as a janitor in a private school. My brother helped my mother on weekends and worked for the U.S. government during the week but could not get a deferment. He was put into the infantry and was killed in action before the end of the year.

I was placed in the 8th Air Force and completed my 25 combat missions before being assigned to the 8th Air Force headquarters and to Gen. Jimmy Doolittle’s personal crew. After Germany was defeated, I was stationed with the 8th Air Force headquarters on Okinawa until the end of the war against Japan.

My oldest son was drafted and served in Vietnam. I know the agony of worrying about a child exposed to injury or death. I can weigh the pluses and minuses of a draft and feel strongly that the pluses far outweigh the minuses and it sends such a strong message to the rest of the world as well as to our citizenry.

As long as the Vietnam War was, I feel it would have gone on longer if the families of the draftees did not raise such a clamor. There were no pockets of indifference.

We are the United States. Let us be united. Let’s send a message to the rest of the world.

Al Burk

Bridgton