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Paynesville Press - April 20, 2005

Lenzmeier, Buermann named Boy Staters at PAHS

By Michael Jacobson

Junior Stephen Lenzmeier was chosen as the Boy Stater at PAHS recently, and junior Shawn Buermann was selected as his alternate.

Lenzmeier will attend the Legion Boys State Camp at St. John's University in Collegeville in June, sponsored by the Paynesville American Legion. The camp is a hands-on opportunity for students to learn about government by holding mock legislative sessions and running mock city governments.

Boy stater named Lenzmeier, the son of Dale and Mary Lenzmeier, said he was interested in being Boys Stater because of the educational experience and the opportunity to try something different. Buermann, the son of Cyril and Sue Buermann, said his cousin Scott, a former Boys Stater, recommended the camp to him as a fun experience.

Junior Stephen Lenzmeier, right, was chosen as the Boy Stater for Paynesville Area High School this year, and junior Shawn Buermann, left, was selected as the alternate.

Both Lenzmeier and Buermann will have duties at PAHS as Boys Staters, such as raising and lowering the American flag, giving announcements, leading the senior class at baccalaureate and graduation, and participating in Memorial Day and Veteran's Day services.

Lenzmeier and Buermann were both recently inducted into the local chapter of the National Honor Society. They also are both active in Future Farmers of America, with Lenzmeier being the local chapter president this year and Buermann being secretary.

Lenzmeier likes working on the family farm and described his hobbies as anything with an engine. He also likes hands-on classes at school and plans to attend either a four-year college or a tech college after high school.

Buermann, who also lives and works on a dairy farm, also likes to hunt and fish. His favorite high school class is physics, and he hopes to attend St. John's University after high school.

For the Boys Stater competition, they had to write an essay and interview with the selection committee. Their essays are reprinted, with permission, below.

By Stephen Lenzmeier
Bill Ryan came up to me one day and asked if I would be interested in applying for Boys Stater. I thought that it was a good opportunity, and I was going to give it a shot. One of the requirements was that I write an essay on a preselected topic. I slowly went down the list and thought each one through, but none really got me going. That was until I reached the one about military draft.

It is my belief that the draft should not be reinstated unless there is a case of national emergency. The way I see it going is the public would react as they did in the Vietnam era. The vast majority of the people did not believe in the purpose of the war, and problems erupted. Eligible men fled the country to avoid the draft. They burned draft cards in front of the registration areas to show that they weren't going to go. Men shot off their feet and hands so they would not pass their physicals.

I fear that the same thing could happen in the event of the draft being reinstated. The numbers may not be as large, but many men would resort to such measures rather than fight and risk their lives for something that they do not fully believe in.

There comes a time when the draft is necessary. If there is an attack by a military or insurgents on our home soil, the draft is without a doubt necessary. People would fight voluntarily because they know that the freedom and well being of the United States is in jeopardy.

In World War I and World War II, especially World War II, the freedom of the United States was in jeopardy, and attacks were conducted against Pearl Harbor (which is U.S. soil); people were willing to fight because they knew that their families' safety was not secure.

In those cases, every American citizen should be willing to fight for their country.

I do not believe that the draft should be reinstated due to the War in Iraq. It should not have to be the United States' responsibility to fight a war for another country. We should take part in it, but the United Nations was created to watch over the governments of other countries to ensure that they are not doing something that they should not be.

Granted the UN probably should have stepped in when they asked them to and brought evidence proving that Saddam was funding terrorists, but if they aren't backing us and making us do the fighting without any extra support, why take it as our responsibility?

If the draft is about

having more soldiers in Iraq, I believe that then it is also being reinstated for the wrong reasons.

It is my opinion that the draft should not be reinstated. The military is for those willing to put their life on the line for their country, not to force young men to aid in fighting a war that not all feel is necessary. The military is there to protect the country's borders, not invade others without the support of the United Nations.

Why increase our military size unless there is a need for it?

By Shawn Buermann
CourageousŠthat would be a word to describe an American soldier. Our troops are what give the freedom that every American has today, but American troops are still struggling to get reasonable benefits in health care for fighting for our country's freedom.

American troops deserve the best there is when it comes to health care.

Modern medicines and practices in health care today can cost quite a lot. This means that if someone wants a good health care plan they will have to pay top dollar for it. Our American troops pay the ultimate price, their own lives, like Vietnam, World War I, World War II, and Iraq, just to name a few.

Don't you think our past, present, and future veterans should be compensated for risking their lives overseas? Many do not get very good benefits for health care when they come home from military service.

There are many examples of our troops going to war and coming back with physical and mental problems. Those types of problems can cause a real hindrance on their own personal lives. Veterans really sacrifice a lot when they serve in the military. They put their lives on the line and on hold so that everyone in America can live without fear of attacks in their homeland.

The U.S. government may not realize it, but a lot of the troops that come home from military service still have to pay the outrageous prices of health care costs for damages caused by war. In some cases, veterans can't afford those costs.

I believe that if our troops are willing to risk their lives to save the freedom we have in America, the least we can do is help them with their financial needs. Many veterans are too proud to ask for help, so if we do not put a good plan into play to help out veterans' needs, they probably won't get the help on their own.

We should especially help our veterans with their health care costs. The government may not know how bad the plan is for our veterans, but something should be done to change that plan. Some veterans try as hard as they can, but they still can't find the financial help they need for the problems they had gotten from serving in the military for the United States of America. Veterans should have the top priority for our nation because if our veterans did not risk their lives to keep our country safe then the U.S.A. would not have freedom in our country like there is now

. American troops are a very valuable asset for our country. We should make sure when the troops come home that we help them return into mainstream society. If that means that taxpayers have to pay for a certain percentage for health care costs, we still should do that. Our troops have the courage to risk their lives in serving their country. They should be helped by the government.

All of our troops deserve the best of the best. Our U.S. troops are really brave, and all I have to say to them isŠ"Thank You."

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