But there were two events in 2020 that deserved more discussion. First, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, established by Congress in 2016, issued a significant report on March 25 urging a renewed emphasis on a culture of service. And 2020 marked the year when men born in 1955 became eligible for Social Security. Those men were the last Americans eligible to be drafted into military service. Now, no American under 65 has faced a draft notice.
In this century, these volunteers have served in the most professional, highly educated, and diverse military this country has known. They have conducted themselves well — with multiple deployments under trying circumstances in wars without end. They deserve the thanks of the nation.
Starting with our leaders and representatives, all Americans need to acknowledge that our republic depends upon mutual trust, volunteerism and civic values. People who insist they are “patriots” should start acting like it. The vast majority of our veterans already have.