Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Baxter Black: 21st century citizen soldiers
The term “citizen soldier”
applies to an army composed of ordinary citizens rather than
professional soldiers, like Vietnam War enlistees and draftees that
served their 2 years and were released to go back to their previous
life. It also applies to the National Guard.
is another group of citizens that I think deserve a similar
recognition. The many thousands of citizens who work for the private
contractors in the Mideast fighting the War on Terror. Granted, they get
paid more but they receive no medals for bravery, not much recognition
for their service, no Veteran’s benefits, yet they are indispensable to
any victory we might achieve.
reason they are needed is because America’s armed forces have shrunk to
their smallest number in modern history. Less than 1 percent of our
population volunteers to serve. In our small church, in our small town,
we always seem to have a handful of young men working "overseas" for
private contractors. Some have a military background and some don’t.
most prominent description of the service offered by private
contractors is “providing security.” Which, of course, is what military
soldiers do. These unsung citizen soldiers are used by our government to
fill the "soldier gap." Their contributions range from combat in the
field, transport, construction, high technology, personnel, command and
control and training U.S. and allied military soldiers.
At this stage of the War on
Terror, the use of UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, drones to us
civilians) has become critical. Young men from my little town, my
little church, sign up with the private contractors, go to training
school and then ship off to the battlefields of Afghanistan or Iraq.
Back home we recognize them for their service.
We pray for them. We help their wives and children to endure. And we wait.