George Ledyard wrote:
I think that the only truly democratic war in our history was WWII. EVERYONE served. Rich families had their sons in combat,
Agree, all wars compared it was more equal than others.
That said, I had an interesting observation two years ago. I had the National Guard Historian pull a WWII yearbook from my home town. The same regiment I am affiliated with is the same one my realitives have been affiliated with for about 200 years. Anyway, pulled it...and looked at the pictures. the 116th INF Regiment out of Virginia is very famous for being part of the main effort on D-Day. Infact the D-Day memorial is near my home town and Beford lost more men/boys per captia than any other city during the war.
Well looking at the pictures I noticed something that has never been discussed. 1. All white. 2. There was ANOTHER unit in town...Coastal Artillery that went down to coast of Virginia to "defend" our borders.
The interesting thing about it was I recognized all the prominent people in town...Doctors, Lawyers etc were in the Coastal Artillery. Some of these guys I know I thought they were in the 116th. Interesting. Flipping to the 116th...I didn't know as many. There was a huge social segregation on which unit guys belonged to.
Your experience in the 116th was much different than being in the Coastal Artillery unit.
So, sure, lots of our famous politiicians, entertainers, and others DID serve and deserve the respect they have earned. However, I would not say that even WWII was immune from "social engineering" of the military. No society I can think of has EVER left this out of their militaries.
However, sorry for the digression from the topic....but I do think it is somewhat related to the overall impacts of the MACRO and MICRO effects of morality and ethics on the issue of just wars, and just actions of killing. A stretch...but still somewwhat related.