There is no greater feeling than having served your country. There is no worse feeling than to see that service and your country disrespected…
I joined the United States Air Force on January 23, 1991. Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm were in full affect. The air war had begun and President Bush had just called over a million National Guardsmen and reservist to active duty. I remember that day like it was yesterday. My family and friends were there at Port Columbus to see me off. It was my brother’s 12th birthday and here I am going into the military and possibly off to war.
My enlistment was a decision that I made without any parental input. I had a ‘good job’ doing piecework at AT&T/Lucent. I was making good money. I was single with no real responsibilities but I was incomplete. I decided to join the U.S. Air Force. I took all of the various tests but because of the world climate there was a temporary hold on ‘guaranteed jobs’. I was told that my scores on the computer test were the highest that the Ohio recruiters had ever seen but still… no guarantees. You know what tho… I didn’t care. I wanted to serve my country.
Basic training is a program that I believe every young adult should go thru. It brings out the best and the worst in people but also makes you take account of who you were as a person. If you had a brother that didn’t do certain things well then you helped them. We were a team. If we succeeded then we succeeded as a team but if we failed… the team failed. We took responsibility over our own situations and made it happen.
The other thing that was always in the back of my mind was that I could, and wanted to, be deployed into actual war. I truly wanted to go into battle (whatever that meant). My mother and I did not agree on that. So, she did what any God fearing mother would do… she prayed. Two days before I completed my technical training (as a Security Policeman… no I didn’t get the computer job), I developed plantar fasciitis. I tore the arch in my right foot. I was placed on crutches and moved to medical for a month. And a week before I was to ship out guess what happens… I tore the arch in my other foot!!!!!! Needless to say, I wasn’t sent to the Desert. I was shattered and I cried like a baby. Instead, I was sent directly to my duty station at Yokota Air Base, Tokyo, Japan. Not only did I have the opportunity and pleasure of serving my country but I also got to do it in another country. I spent my entire career in the Pacific Air Forces.
There’s a song that I believe ALL service people can sing as an anthem and it is… “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood. That song is truth, at least to us.
Over last 10-20 years there has been such an attack on being an American and patriotism that it is sickening. What’s wrong with living in the last Super Power? What’s wrong with controlling our borders? What’s wrong with setting the standard for the rest of the world? It’s very interesting to me because many times the ones who complain the most about the United States are those that just got here. If America is soo bad then why did you come? Or better yet, why come to America to perpetuate the same oppression that you ran away from? Wait, before you think I’m bashing immigrants…
For those of us, who were born in raised in the United States… What’s wrong with YOU!?! Why is it such a task to stand, take off your hat, put your hand over your heart and sing the National Anthem? How many of us remember the Pledge of Allegiance? Last week, I heard a radio show call a business and ask the owner, “Who is Betsy Ross?” The person said, “I know… Isn’t that Diana Ross’ mother?” Seriously?
I’m sorry. I went on a little tirade. But, you know what… I love my country. I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!!! And I continue to salute every person that takes the oath to defend this wonderful country of ours. I give honor to the men and women that at a moment’s notice could be called into battle, that would give their lives to protect OUR freedoms!!!
Here’s a thought before I close…
I think that in order to be elected to certain government posts, the individual should be prior military. And the reason is this… We see things differently than civilians. There is a different level of understanding once you’ve been in service.
Let’s not wait until Memorial Day to give honor to our Veterans. Don’t wait until Flag Day to recognize the Stars and Stripes. Shake hands with and thank the next seven Veterans that you meet. Show some appreciation and love for the good ole U. S. of A.!!!
God Bless the Unites States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National and Coast Guards!!!
God Bless America!!!
I love you ALL!!!