I was brought up when the United States had the draft. You were expected to be drafted and planned your future accordingly. Rich or poor.

 I observed during my two-year stint in the Army that such service was the first time many of the well-to-do experienced dealing with the poor and minorities. In many cases they had to take orders from them. Even though most did not engage with the poor for the rest of their lives, they never forgot their experience. The military experience created a common bond between citizens that made us a more cohesive country.

 President Nixon ended the draft in 1973 to appease the middle and upper class. It partially worked for him, but the country paid a price.

 Today there are very few wealthy and upper-middle-class people in the Army's enlisted ranks. Some, but not a lot, are officers. Today the officers are middle-class and enlistees are mostly poor or relatively poor disproportionately minorities. They are mostly from the South and the rural West and Midwest. They are our Hessians who serve five, six and seven terms in combat units under the most difficult and violent conditions, fighting some of the most brutal people on earth. They end up with high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder and suicide.

 Assuming we are going to stay in these hellholes, then Americans should share the burden. Pass a draft. See how quickly we end our pointless wars.

Trump, who dodged service in Vietnam, could burnish his image by supporting my proposal.

 Joseph F. Dugan

 Cranston