Many years ago -- before September 11th, 2001 -- I was asked to write and deliver a few thoughts about my military service for a military graduation. This is that short essay, found while looking for other documents.
WHY DO I SERVE?
Because there are things worth fighting for.
There is no second chance to build a nation like this. It is not only prudent that we demonstrate willingness to defend this nation, it is paramount. The best and perhaps only way to back down an adversary's threat is to have at the ready devoted and overwhelming assets. We are those assets. We are the resolve that makes the other side blink.
I am humbled by the men and women who have served before me. Those who served during intense hardships, and when the profession of arms was not held in the same regard as today. I offer due respect by standing watch during this time of prosperity and comfort - that they helped protect for the faceless, nameless Americans of the future. Bless those that fell in the fight, those that charged ahead - those that served. The lump in my throat during "Taps" comes from remembering their sacrifices, the surge of obligation during "The Star Spangled Banner" from what this country has built upon those sacrifices.
I serve beside men and women with similar ideals, and it emboldens my sense of duty. We are a cross-section of what is best about America. Where else should I be if our nation is at risk?
America has been benevolent in victory. We should not rely on any other nation's benevolence if we fail to hold our ground -- our country. May it never come to that.
A lot has happened since I wrote those remarks. We realized the war being waged against us, and have been battling Islamic Extremism ever since. It is a war we must win.
This country is big enough, strong enough to absorb some serious blows. But we cannot ignore the hits forever. We must respond.
Domestically, the current leadership in the executive and legislative branches of our cherished government is running the country to ruin. Whether by design, lack of attention, or incompetence, the outcome -- if left unchecked -- will be the same. They seem intent on completing their agenda at the expense of the common man, small business and the economy, not to mention our friends and allies abroad. They are adding to the deficit at a rate 10 times faster than the previous administration. They hope we won't notice -- certainly not before November 2010, when we have the means to correct their actions.
But we have noticed. And we must respond. That is why I have thrown my hat in the ring, along with dozens of military vets and concerned citizens who see the same sense of urgency of a nation in peril. We must join the fight to retain the gift that was given to us by those soldiers and citizens of the last 234 years.
Where else should we be when our nation is at risk?