Several drafts of this letter were prepared before I settled on the one below. It's fairly short, simple, sweet, stays on point, and gets the message across. Yep, it's also a bit "over the top". It's meant to be. If you have any suggestions for improvement, drop 'em in the comments link below. On Wednesday, I'll type up the finished version and make it available in MSWord for download and printing, and/or plain text version for emailing.
I write to you as a concerned parent regarding a disturbing subject.
Two bills to revive the military draft (H.R.163 and S.89, "Universal National Service Act") are currently before the U.S. Congress, awaiting action right after the election in November. If your son or daughter or niece or nephew or grandchild is 14 years or older, it is very likely they will be drafted into military service before the next election four years from now (a 14 year old child will be 18, draft age, before the next election). Many news reports have made it well known that if George Bush is reelected, his administration intends to restart the draft as soon as possible.
This is a cold, hard reality of the upcoming election.
There are many issues in the 2004 election that are important to each of us individually. But of all the issues that could impact YOU AND YOUR CHILD in the next four years, the DRAFT ISSUE is clearly the most important.
So, regardless of how you decide to vote, you need to cast your ballot with the clear understanding that IF GEORGE W. BUSH IS RE-ELECTED, THERE WILL BE A MILITARY DRAFT WITH NO DEFERMENTS. If your son, daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild will be 18 before 2008, and you vote for George W. Bush, you will have NO ONE BUT YOURSELF TO BLAME when they receive their callup notice.
JOHN KERRY has publicly gone on record stating that he DOES NOT SUPPORT A DRAFT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. John Kerry will allow you and your child to decide your child's future, even if that choice would be volunteering for military service.
George Bush will not. GEORGE BUSH WILL DRAFT YOUR CHILD INTO THE MILITARY.
I write to you as the concerned parent of a 17 year old daughter and 24 year old son, because mothers and fathers throughout the country are losing their children daily to the unending and worsening war in Iraq. When I served in the Vietnam war era, many people my age sought deferments, chose an alternate form of service, or fled to Canada. None of those options will be available this time around. ANYONE WHO IS DRAFTED WILL HAVE TO SERVE. So the DRAFT ISSUE ALONE is enough for me to ignore any and all other issues this election year.
I DO NOT WANT MY SON OR DAUGHTER DRAFTED - and that is why I am voting for JOHN KERRY.
Your 14 to 17 year old child can not vote. But you can. If you are not registered to vote, register quickly. Time is running out.