February 28, 2016

Like my distinguished colleagues, I too have several trepidations regarding my eighteenth birthday. Soon my years of free education will be long behind me, and all the many years of instruction that remain between my and my dream career in diplomacy will require hours upon hours of work and a multitude of student loans. Add on the prospect of living alone, potentially thousands of miles away from my immediate family, and the idea of becoming an adult is frightening, to say the least. But there is one aspect of becoming a legal adult that my fellow writers do not have to face, and which particularly terrifies me: registering for the draft.

By this simple registration, I am committed to joining the armed forces in the event of a major war. But what, really, are the chances of a war that requires the draft to be reenacted? Such an event may have seemed an anachronism for many years, especially after the end of the Cold War. But recent geopolitical events have proven that these optimistic and relatively peaceful years were more of an anomaly than a new normal state of affairs. China has managed to turn simple border disputes with many of its neighbors into a full blown crisis. A resurgent Russia has intervened in numerous nations, such as Ukraine and Syria, in order to reestablish itself as a great power. And the Islamic State is bent on total domination of the Middle East, and the destruction of America. These antagonisms are more reminiscent of the years before the First World War than the post-Cold War period. If I do become a college student, under the current draft laws I can only postpone being drafted until the end of the current semester (or end of the academic year if I am a senior.) The thought of a major war breaking out, requiring me to enlist, is definitely one of my greater fears involving my upcoming birthday.

But of course, there are many reasons to be excited about the coming years. It will be scary, yes, to live so far away from my parents for such an extended period of time. But the experience will definitely hold a lot of excitement as well. And the possibility of my life ending in a major war all depend on if that conflict ever occurs, which is a pretty big “if”. For instance, there were many instances in the Cold War (the Cuban Missile Crisis comes foremost to mind) when mankind was nearly faced with a global nuclear holocaust, but a compromise was reached and humanity left to live another day. There are many things we can guess about the future, but that’s all they are: guesses. The only way to know for certain is to face it head on. And cross your fingers.  

Senior Johnny Morreale discusses the legal implications of turning 18.
Image from http://thebluediamondgallery.com/l/legal.html
Senior Johnny Morreale discusses the legal implications of turning 18.


Check out what YOU can legally do when you turn 18!

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Johnny Morreale, Writer

Johnny Morreale is a staff writer for the 2015-16 school year Vandegrift Voice newspaper. He is fond of the written word and reads frequently, though not...

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