San Francisco Chronicle

Serve the country to hold office

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America has just spent 20 years, thousands of lives (not just American lives) and trillions of dollars in losing a war! And most Americans are hardly aware that happened or knew much about it while it was going on.

How can that be?

I think it’s because most of us don’t know what it really means to be an American. Most of us have never served our country. We, instead, take for granted all the benefits and think that we deserve them just by birth.

The problem, in my opinion, is that the people running the country haven’t served America in a significan­t way.

My solution is simple: Every American between the ages of 18 and 35 owes two years of service to the country. It could be military, Peace Corps or possibly something else. But no draft, no fines and no prison.

Instead, until a person has served this country for two or more years, he or she is ineligible to be elected to any federal office, federal judgeship, cabinet position, or be or act as any federal department head or assistant head.

If you are going to run the country, you should have first served to preserve and promote her.

Ted Tilton, Sunnyvale

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