The years from about fifteen to twenty-five are the crucial formative years of
a man’s life. This is the time when he confirms his impressions of the world,
of other men, of the society in which he is to live, when he acquires conscious
convictions, defines his moral values, chooses his goals, and plans his future,
developing or renouncing ambition. These are the years that mark him for life.
And it is these years that an allegedly humanitarian society forces him to
spend in terror—the terror of knowing that he can plan nothing and count on
nothing, that any road he takes can be blocked at any moment by an
unpredictable power, that, barring his vision of the future, there stands the
gray shape of the barracks, and, perhaps, beyond it, death for some unknown
reason in some alien jungle.