National Service: A Forum

National Service: A Forum

What makes a nation? Borders on land and sea protected by military might and authorities that enforce the laws and the will of the government? Those things seem to play a significant role in defining a nation, but we suggest there is something more fundamental  – that the people living there identify with their country. One way to grow and maintain a commitment to an ideal of a nation is through national service. National military service has long been recognized as building a sense of being in this together. In more recent decades we also have had nonmilitary national service opportunities, such as the Peace Corps, Vista and AmeriCorps. In addition, there are less well known opportunities sponsored by governmental and nongovernmental organizations at various levels in our communities. As we celebrate our national day, July 4th, we are initiating an online moderated forum with a series of stories on the theme of national service.

Please join our forum with a story of your own.  Tell us your perspectives, even if they are controversial.  Share your personal experiences.

The following topics are meant to be samples of a range of topics related to national service, but not meant as limiting what we will consider.

  • Should all our young people be drafted into some form of national service?
  • Does national service lead to a long term commitment to service for those who have served?
  • What do we owe people who perform national service?
  • Will we see the day when our nation views working for peace as important as preparing for war?
  • Can a nation recognize the sacrifices of its soldiers in war and at the same time avoid glorifying war?

Read our Guidelines for Contributors and submit your story to the editors of The Pierce Progressive at