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Volunteer service could unite nation -- Allen Knop

September 16, 2018

Most Americans today are greatly disturbed by the political divisions in our society. Politicians attack one another personally and spend no time trying to unite us with plans to benefit all Americans.

A big part of the problem is few Americans have a sense of an obligation to our society and our government other than the common title of “Americans.” It’s every person for themselves.

Former U.S. Sen. James Webb, D-Virginia suggested an excellent plan to unite us and make sure everyone has skin in the game: make public service mandatory for all young men and women. It is a small step to get kids in the mindset of giving back.

I would suggest a year of public service upon graduation. With a small stipend for room and board, young people could volunteer at a VA hospital, read to elementary students, weed out invasive species or participate in a host of other projects. Kids who drop out of school would go into the program immediately.

The common experience of volunteer work would do much to heal the divisions in our society and make America a united nation.

Allen Knop, Madison

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