Five million volunteers. Five million husbands, wives, sons, and daughters. Five million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who have fought for a dozen years. Next year, the last of these men and women will come home from Afghanistan. What comes next for this generation of veterans? What will their legacy be?
I'm in Aspen for the inaugural 21st Century National Service Summit, sponsored by The Franklin Project, a new venture of the Aspen Institute. The goal is to make universal national service a new American rite of passage. It is, of course, an idea at the heart of the founding of the country itself, connected to the very "pursuit of happiness" in our Declaration of Independence.