Bring back draft, even for public service

To the Editor:

I liked Jack’s article (Jack Remembers, Feb. 14, “Carrying a rifle in the infantry the best gun-control plan there is”) about carrying a rifle. I, too, was issued a WWII M-1 rifle. I never did well with it on the firing range because the sight on the barrel of the gun was loose. We did not carry our rifles around when we were in the barracks. They locked them up in an armory.
When I got promoted to E-4, I was allowed to trade my M-1 in for a carbine. It was a lot lighter and easier to carry.
I, too, own a single-shot .22 rifle that my stepfather gave me years ago. I have it in my closet. I haven’t fired it in years.
My job in the Army was to direct the fire of its biggest guns, the 8-inch howitzers. When you fire those things day and night, the thrill of hearing loud noises soon goes away. I agree with Jack that we need a draft for young people. Not necessarily for fighting wars, but for doing some kind of public service. It might help them mature.

– Robert Smith, RHS Class of 1957

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