National Service

National Service


I believe our country needs to adopt some form of national service. This belief is based on several factors. We need to address the growing state of disconnection between members of our society. Since the abolition of compulsive military service, most of our leadership has never been placed in a setting where they had significant personal contact with people who looked, talked, and thought differently from them. Even though I am now a professional, I have found great benefit from the time in my life when I worked as an electrician, construction worker, gardener, ice cream salesman, along with a half dozen other jobs that gave me exposure to a cross section of the people who make up our country. Given the decline of our public schools, too many of our children miss out on the benefits of exposure to others with different backgrounds than their own.


Our society is in need of healing. We have allowed ourselves to become too polarized, and need to reestablish common goals that will benefit us all. Our infrastructure is decaying, and unless we do something about it soon, we stand the risk of genteel decay, looking back on our past glories. We have large parts of our rural heartlands that are medically underserved. We have inner cities we have essentially abandoned, along with those who are forced to live in them. We have great National Parks that are not being maintained, and whose heritage we risk losing for our children.


I envision all citizens, male and female, giving two years of their lives to this service. The service could be in the form of military, public health, rural or urban reconstruction, teaching in underserved areas, etc. The politics and details of it all will require much debate. And yes, the cost of such service will be great. However, the cost of failing to serve will be even greater.

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22 Responses to National Service

  1. Cheryl says:

    I absolutely and totally agree….We are at crisis point right now…

  2. Holy says:

    As a newbie to America, I\’m astounded by the overwhelming sense of national pride here – I think it would work and the spirit of the nation certainly seems to support this – no matter what political leanings the average Joe Schmoe has.  Costs are another thing but heck, it\’s gotta be cheaper than war and a heck of alot more productive in the nation-building department.
    You oughta send Laura an email!

  3. Fructose says:

    That is a noble act and I feel great doing it ever since. Great post, thanks.

  4. Magenta says:

    This is a wonderful and constructive idea.

  5. Unknown says:

    What a terrific concept, Jorge! I am not in favor of the draft and yet I think the abolishment of it took away a chance for a lot of kids to learn about others, get a trade, have a chance at a better life, especially those who now have only gangs to look forward to. 
    This is a splendid alternative and would be a wonderful recource as well as a great teaching tool and life-enriching tool!
    What a great thinker you are! Start a petition and I will, by gum, sign it and support you in whatever way I can!  I\’m going to go and add you to my entry for today because I really think a LOT of people need to see this!

  6. Unknown says:

    Jorge – I hope you don\’t mind, but I posted a link to this entry on SeniorNet because I really hope a lot of people come here and read this, as well as other entries, and also look at all your marvelous pictures.
    Hugs again,

  7. Beach Bum says:

    Jorge – you\’re hired! 
    JORGE FOR PRESIDENT!  Can I get an Amen???

  8. Pamela says:

    I like the way you think, Jorge…great vision; now if everyone would follow suit, huh?
    As for the heat? Let\’s just say I feel my eyeballs may melt at times, but alas, I am surviving…and yes Life is smiling.
    Many Blesssings…

  9. PJ says:

    Good Evening Jorge,
    I am in total agreement with you and all on this matter. Well stated, my Friend.
    And how can I not be having a great day, when I go to my Space and see that you have been there? Thank you.
    Until next time…Keep Smiling.

  10. Unknown says:

    Excellent post. Like when Kennedy said "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."  I believe this country needs strong leadership, from either party, to achieve this.  I feel there was an opportunity to get the country excited about such a thing right after 9/11.  However, I think there\’s still hope!

  11. K says:

    Couldn\’t agree with you more… what a fantastic idea… pass this on to your State representative  (sorry.. I want to call them Member of Parliament… but that\’s Canada).
    Brilliant Jorge… well thought out as well.

  12. Kathryn says:

    If only we\’d do these things voluntarily and not because it is written into government law! Of course, many do volunteer , give of themselves. And you know, if something like this were made mandatory, it risks becoming warped — it risks taking away the very freedoms we are so proud of…..
    but such a nobel thought!

  13. Kathryn says:

    or is that noble *laughing*

  14. barbara says:

    Good idea, J… one that has been around for more than 40 years. Remember VISTA? It used to be an alternative to serving in the military if you were a consciensious objector.
     It needs a resurgence of interest and you have given the idea a new lift.
    "Since 1965, more than 140,000 Americans served through VISTA. Today, nearly 6,000 AmeriCorps*VISTA members serve throughout the country—working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, increase housing opportunities, bridge the digital divide, and strengthen the capacity of community organizations.. "

  15. Jaime Campbell says:

    You are a great writer, Jorge.  And I completely agree with your thoughts.  I\’ve missed coming to visit as often as I did before Mom got sick.  Your space is special.

  16. Suzalita says:

    I think this is a great idea – everyone benefits from giving of themselves and being exposed different experiences, lifestyles and ways of life….it also helps you to appreciate the world that you do have or set goals to your perhps newly developed aspirations.  The world is too big to remain locked into thinking that your way is the only way – This point is driven home after spending 2 weeks with my Norwgian relatives! lol

  17. Marge says:

    Good evening, Jorge!
    Your  idea is sensible, constructive, nobody could possibly lose, and much good could be accomplished.
    Where do I sign up?
    Peace and love, always…

  18. PJ says:

    Good afternoon Jorge,
    Thank you for the comments. I have actually been home the last few days due to a summer cold….infected sinuses, throat, etc. etc,. etc. Therefore had plenty of "down" time on my side. As of tomorrow , I shall head back in to work as usual. I hardly ever get ill, but boy, oh boy, when I do, I do it BIG TIME. LOL. 
    Hope your weekend has a bit of "down time" for you as well ,to be able to kick up your feet, lean back, and relax. Better yet, go out and photograph something for us. You are an amazing photographer as well as a writer.
    Until next time….Keep Smiling.

  19. Charlotte says:

    Hi…  you, like myself, have had the history of working in many and various positions that brought us in contact with others who were not just the same as us….  I think your idea is a good one… so– do we each need to list our senators and representatives to approach to get it rolling? 
    I have said for sometime, that we needed something like this…  you rock… hugs, lottiemae

  20. decem says:

    I know I am going to be in the minority here… Two years of our llives?  Who can really do that? I am single/divorced… I have two children and work 40 hours a week.   Where does taking care of the country fit in? I saw so many good comments on this blog… but i must ask.. did they really read it?  If yes… then read it again… Jorge has good ideas but not reality….it cannot and will not happen… for reasons beyond our control…sorry Jorge  I am just stating my opinion… better or for worse..

  21. linda says:

    hmmm thinking pondering…… read other comments, I like the idea that it could break up the gangs, youth would be committed to a project to keep them alive and giving new directions to conceive. Plus, I think television has made our youth think working at McDonalds or Burger King is beneath them that they are to be hired immediately as some specialist or President of a company, and  think the low waged job is beneath them, they have no humility.  It could teach humility and acceptance of versital ways.    Yes, we need  spring cleaning in our country.  Bravo, I like the idea, it is an idea of strength. 

  22. c says:

    I know this is way after the fact to comment, but enjoyed your post. A college prof of mine was the first person I heard to suggest what you\’ve outlined. I think it\’s a great idea. Especially as a post HS idea for 18 years olds. Most people don\’t decide majors or directions till after their first year or more of college. I like the idea of not restricting it to military. Of adding rural service, forest service, tutoring, reconstruction, public health, community service…

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