9th District Democrat Dan McCready lays out national service plan

Former Gen. Stanley McChrystal joins Democrat Dan McCready.
Former Gen. Stanley McChrystal joins Democrat Dan McCready.

Democrat Dan McCready Wednesday offered a plan to entice young Americans into a year of national service, with a goal of having all young people participate within a decade.

Accompanied by former General Stanley McChrystal, McCready laid out his plan at Mint Hill’s Korean War Memorial.

McCready is running against Republican Dan Bishop and two third-party candidates in the Sept. 10 special election in the 9th Congressional District.

McCready called the service plan an antidote to the nation’s increasing polarization.

“To pull our country together again shouldn’t take another war,” said McCready, a former Marine who served in Iraq.

McCready would provide Americans between 18 and 27 with one-year fellowships to AmeriCorps, a domestic service organization. He said he would fund it with a combination of public and private money.

He cited statistics that show of 3.6 million annual high school graduates, fewer than 200,000 join the military and fewer than 100,000 who serve in the Peace Corps or Americorps.

McChrystal, who commanded U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, said national service would make young people “better citizens.”

Bishop, meanwhile, was in Fayetteville sharing a stage with Vice President Mike Pence. The vice president joined Bishop at a fundraising luncheon before he was scheduled to speak with Special Forces soldiers and their guests at Fort Bragg.

Jim Morrill, who grew up near Chicago, covers state and local politics. He’s worked at the Observer since 1981 and taught courses on North Carolina politics at UNC Charlotte and Davidson College.