November 4, 2006
Now Available: Newly revised paperback General Lee:Father of the Airborne. General Lee Paperback
A U.S. Marine looks at a picture of U.S. forces in Iraq during a press preview at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, November 1, 2006. REUTERS/Jason Reed
(REUTERS/Jason Reed )
THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION or IPOD GENERATION born between 1979 and 2001 are the kids and consumers courted for their TV viewing and buying habits. According to the literature, however, they are very civic-minded.

In the 2006 Cone Millennial Cause Study(the first indeph study on this generation), sixty-one percent said they feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world.

Seventy-eight percent in this study think businesses should join them and those surveyed plan to use their spendable income as leverage. Now, that ain't bad.

For once in our lives, we ought to "mine" this civic-minded group of kids, seventy-eight million strong. We had our chance after 9-11, but didn't even ask that they make any sacrifice.

What about "Universal Service"? The government could set up opportunities of service that are mandatory so this generation can "give back" something to their country(joining the military, working with Habitat For Humanity, working in low income communities, working with children, working with the elderly...) Some kids do feel a sense of entitlement, but others would be willing to participate in such a program if nudged a little.

Our Congress hasn't had any intestinal fortitude thus far. Maybe a politican could pick up the mantle. John Kerry might be the guy. If he thinks that Iraq is in the future of those who don't take advantage of education; or, as I like to believe, don't think they have any prospects, then let's set up a system to help youngsters along.

Universal Service would give all youngsters, especially those lacking education or opportunity, a sense of purpose and self-confidence. We could and should do it.


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