Today is Veteran’s Day. Joining the military was without a doubt one of the best things I’ve ever done. I will forever be grateful that circumstance led me to that day when I swore my allegiance:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
The day before taking that solemn oath of enlistment I celebrated my 19th birthday. Like most new recruits I was young and not well prepared for those days of training, discipline, rules and the rites of passage just ahead. But, I learned a lot and even shaved for the first time during those first few weeks. I’d like to think I grew up a lot during those next four years. The military changed my life for the better and it’s been a big part of me ever since. It’s an honor to be a veteran. Continue reading
We’ve all seen stories about it on television, read about them in our newspapers and magazines. We’ve seen photos and videos. The stories and images of people burning the American Flag or otherwise abusing it. I try to avoid writing about politics here in this blog, but this goes beyond political. This is personal. I love that flag. I love what it represents, what it stands for. Men and women have died for it. Native Americans, The Black, Yellow and White all shed red blood for the Stars and Stripes.* Those and many more have been carried to their final resting place beneath it’s cover. As a veteran, I hope to be honored in the same way.
I’ve heard or read all the arguments, those with a differing point of view. I’ve read and seen the lack of respect, even vitriol given our nation’s most honored symbol. It’s just a piece of cloth some say. I wonder how many of the same were outraged when earlier this year preacher Terry Jones burned a copy of the Quran? Jones’ threat before the act made headlines for months. Burn a flag? No problem. Burn a book? Now, we’ve got a problem.