Other than in the news media in Houston, 26-year-old Army Specialist Krystal M. Fitts was never mentioned on any cable or national TV newscasts, was never extensively written about in any major newspapers or magazines or on any blogger’s website.

Other than in the news media in Houston, 26-year-old Army Specialist Krystal M. Fitts was never mentioned on any cable or national TV newscasts, was never extensively written about in any major newspapers or magazines or on any blogger’s website.

She did get noticed, though, on a special list, that dreaded casualty list now numbering 2,050 of her American military family killed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

As the numbers rise so do the indifference, ignorance and apathy of many Americans.

Perhaps it is again time to reinitiate the military draft that was phased out in 1973?

I echo the plea of General Stanley A. McChrystal. “If a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk,” he told a group at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game. ... The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq placed unfair and extreme burdens on the professional military, especially reservists and their families. We’ve never fought an extended war with an all-volunteer military. So what it means is you’ve got a very small population that you’re going to and you’re going to it over and over again.”

He noted, “Multiple deployments often result in divorces and split families.”

McChrystal was joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Thomas E. Ricks, who writes, “Over the past decade, this all-volunteer force has been put to the test and has succeeded, fighting two sustained foreign wars with troops standing up to multiple combat deployments and extreme stress.”

Writing op-ed pieces in The Washington Post and The New York Times, Ricks proposes multi-step criteria for conscripting American youth.

“The drawbacks of the all-volunteer force are not military, but political and ethical,” he wrote. “One percent of the nation has carried almost all of the burden while the rest of us essentially went shopping. When the wars turned sour, we could turn our backs.”

As for the Vietnam War, during which we had a draft, Ricks adds, “The draft sure did encourage people to pay attention to the war and decide whether they were willing to support it.”

Meanwhile the remains of Army Specialist Fitts, and others, have been flown home to Dover Air Force Base in preparation for more military funerals. Just in case you’re interested.

I give you President John Adams’s toast: Independence forever.