There was an awful report on the BBC this morning about child soldiers fighting in Syria's civil war. Unimaginable the horror these young boys are experiencing.
But then, . . .
It occurred to me that my own grandfather was sent to the front in WWI at the tender age of 16 where he would fire a massive cannon, making minced meat of the enemy.
His son, my father, joined the Navy at the age of 17, just a few years after WWII. He would later re-enlist in the Marines and get sent off to Korea. (Obviously, I wouldn't be around today if he had been one of the more than thirty-three thousand Americans who died there.)
One of the themes of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5 is that WWII was fought by boys. The oft-forgot subtitle of that novel was The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death.
Seems, the more things change, the more they stay the same.