There is great concern and public hand-wringing over the explosion of street violence in our cities. Homicide rates have skyrocketed and law-enforcement is frequently overwhelmed. In Milwaukee, homicides this year--83 at last count--are approaching the total for all of last year. The closure rate has plummeted from over 90% last year to approximately 50% this year.
In olden days, there existed a method of execution called "drawn and quarter" whereby the victim's four limbs were tied to horses who were then whipped, ripping the limbs off the subject. This method of execution would certainly be considered barbaric in the extreme today, and in fact was so considered long ago and discontinued shortly after it was adopted.
There is something tranformational that occurs when you serve your country in the military, especially when in harm's way either in combat or, as in my case, by the nature of your service. I entered the U.S. Air Force a relatively immature young buck looking forward to a great experience, flying jet fighter aircraft. However, not much time passed before my outlook changed. I realized that I was serving my country, protecting it and its people from foreign attack. Suddenly, the game became much more serious and definitely not a game. Duty, honor, country became much more than a slogan, it became an imperative. This clear responsibility engendered a sense of purpose and pride I had never before experienced. I grew up.