HOW TO PREPARE FOR A DRAFT- What Parents and Young People Can Do
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What about physical, mental and other deferments? We can only assume they will be similar to those during the Vietnam War. Asthma and flat feet got people out of serving then. Create a paper trail for medical conditions and physical ailments. Choose to take medications prescribed or fulfill prescriptions even if you don’t use them. Serious mental conditions such as bipolar disorder or borderline schizophrenia are likely conditions for deferment, but depression is probably not. Also, with mental health conditions, you have to consider if you want them permanently on your military record. Being able to prove you are gay will also keep you out of the military.
Is there anything parents of younger children can do? If your child is involved in religious activities, peace marches, or political meetings, take lots of pictures and keep a record of the activities. Keep a folder of anything your child writes that shows sensitivity or awareness. The idea is to establish your child as a thinking, engaged citizen who, when he/she turns 18, is making a conscious and thoughtful decision about being a Conscientious Objector.
Any advice for young people? It’s imperative to get information and know what your steps will be for every possible scenario. Don’t be afraid to do whatever you need to do (short of harming yourself) to get out of serving if you feel strongly about it. You need to make informed choices about what is going to be the best path to take, and realize that they may impact the rest of your life.
The most important thing parents can do is to vote in November for an agenda that is not war mongering. But everyone should realize that regardless of who is elected President, we will need to have a public discourse on how to deal with the needs of the military and the draft.
Resources The Selective Service System Registration Information Office, Data Management Center P.O. Box 94638, Palatine, IL 60094-4638 (847) 688-6888; www.sss.gov
The Center on Conscience & War 1830 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 483-2220, (800) 379-2679; www.nisbco.org
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors 1515 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102 (215) 563-8787; www.objector.org
The American Friends Service Committee www.afsc.org
The American Friends Service Committee New York Branch 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003 (212) 598-0950; www.afsc.org/nymetro
http://thomas.loc.gov: A website where you can obtain legislative information, bill summaries, and the status of bills.
"How to Stay Out of the Military: A Primer on Draft Resistance", by Dr. David Wiggins — www.notinourname.net/youth; select the link to this comprehensive article with many useful websites.