Here is a note from
Army Maj. Michael Burgoyne. You may remember him as the co-author of the
of Jisr al-Doreaa.
By Maj. Michael
Burgoyne and former Army lieutenant Shelly Burgoyne
Best Defense guest
1. Join the military. Encourage your sons,
daughters, friends and relatives to join and defend the country. Military
service should be admired not seen as an option of last resort that the well-off
shy away from. The military needs the best of the best to win current and
future conflicts. This is a problem, we recommend AWOL
by Roth Douquet and Schaeffer for a look at who is joining and who isn't.
2. Ask Congress to pass a "War or Patriot Tax" à la Thomas
Friedman. When people feel the financial pinch of the war they will connect
with the war effort. More importantly, they will be helping to attack the
financial infrastructure of our worst enemies by stimulating alternative energy
development and dropping demand.
3. Ask Congress to pass a real and meaningful
national service act. Check out veteran Jason Blindauer's American's for a National
4. If you have a special skill, see number 1 or
join the Civilian
Response Corps. "The Civilian Response Corps provides the U.S. Government
with a pool of qualified, trained, and ready-to-deploy civilian professionals
to support overseas reconstruction and stabilization operations. Additionally,
the Civilian Response Corps reinforces regular standing staff in Washington and
overseas in support of reconstruction and stabilization operations in countries
or regions that are at risk of, in, or are in transition from conflict or civil
strife. If U.S. national security interests are at stake, we must be prepared
to respond quickly with the right civilian experts." It sounds like these types
of folks would have been helpful in 2003 at the Haditha Hydroelectric Dam where
a political science degree wasn't cutting it.
5. Support a non-governmental aid agency working to
better the lives of others in potentially dangerous regions. For example:
Don't do drugs. Drugs support our enemies just like our addiction to gasoline.
Heroin, marijuana and cocaine are all cash crops for international terrorist
organizations. With 22,700 dead since 2007 in Mexican drug wars, maybe
smoking that dube isn't totally harmless. Grab a Budweiser instead and
call your congressman if you want to legalize it.
Donate your time or money. There are tons of great charities that support veterans
and the wounded. We like Fisher House, the USO, the Wounded Warrior Project, and
Send letters and packages to deployed service members and units. Your company
or family can sponsor a unit
from your local area.
9. Learn more about the military. Take a military
science class if you're in college. Ask a veteran to speak to your class or
business. Read a book about what's going on, there are lots. In particular, we
recommend Craig Mullaney's The Unforgiving Minute,
Andrew Exum's This
Man's Army, and Nate Fick's One
veterans and parents of service members running for office. When we have people
with a stake in the game and/or an understanding of the costs we will make
responsible decisions when it comes to deploying our forces.