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Eighteen is Legal Enough
This past September, I turned eighteen years of age. This was not just another typical birthday for me, because I am now considered a legal adult. I have to take full responsibilities of my actions now and can no longer rely on my parents to bail me out of trouble. I am now also eligible for the draft, which means that at any given time, my country can call me to tell me that they are putting their nation's trust and life into my hands. I have the power to elect whoever I choose to represent my nation, I can live on my own, I can open my own mail, I can even purchase tobacco products and get into bars.
There are many more benefits and responsibilities that are placed on me at this time, yet I am not granted the opportunity to have a social drink with my friends. For some reason this seems absurdly wrong to me. What makes me any less responsible than someone whom has turned twenty-one. Is a birthday really that important to our nation's government. My country trusts me to go to a foreign country and carry a weapon that will defend everything America has striven to earn for over two hundred years. Yet, my country cannot trust me to go out for an evening with my friends and carry an alcoholic beverage that may relax me a little.
I recently went over seas to Iraq and fought a war to protect the well being of many innocent citizens. I did not ask to go to this nation, but since I was eighteen, and this is the age of a legal adult, I was told to go to this nation to defend my country. During the war, I shot and killed, or at least wounded, hundreds of Iraqi soldiers. I was magnificent! I earned a Congressional Medal- of- Honor and practically single-handedly won the war for America.
This story of me going off to war was not an attempt for me to brag about myself and show my skills in combat. This was an effort for me to show how enormous of a responsibility teen-agers face when their eighteenth birthday comes. There have been many stories in the news of kids as young as twelve who are being tried as adults for crimes that they have committed. The law feels that these kids are old enough to take responsibility for their actions and makes them spend the rest of their lives in jail. So, why then, does the law not feel that I am old enough to take the responsibility of sharing a social drink with my friends?
After the war was over, and I returned back to my home, my father wanted to take me out for a celebration. We went to a local bar and I used a fake ID that I had obtained in college. The ID worked and I got into the bar. My father and I sat down and we each ordered a beer. When the bartender served us our beers, my father stood up to toast me on my amazing accomplishments during the war I had just fought. Before he could even finish his toast, I had three SLED agents surrounding me asking to see my ID.
The sled agents had read an article about me, and my amazing triumph during the war, in the New York Times. The article however, mentioned that I was only eighteen years of age, and the SLED agents remembered this minor detail. I showed them my fake ID and after examining it and making jokes of how real it looked for a while, they arrested me. I was charged with tampering with government property, which caused me to lose my driver's license, pay a very hefty fine and serve community service for the state, not to mention the embarrassment that I faced at the time of the arrest.
This all occurred because of the fact that I hadn't experienced a minor three birthdays. While I was overseas defending this wonderful and fair nation who put so much trust and responsibilities in their citizens, I met many men who were over the
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