Selective Service

Just filling out a student aid application (late!) for our son, Tom, who is about to go off to the University of Oregon. One of the questions: “Is the student male? (Most male students must register with the Selective Service to get federal aid.)”

OK: I’m not going to take on the subject of Selective Service right now. But: Just the guys have to sign up? Come on. There’s talk about reinstating the draft, something I have mixed feelings about. But one of the conditions I think would be basic if we come to that is conscripting both women and men. (Among other conditions: allow for alternative national service — such as undergoing disaster relief training so that we’d have a ready, nonmilitary force to respond to situations such as we have in the hurricane zone right now).

But even short of a draft, girls ought to be registered at their 18th birthdays the same as the boys.

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