It's no secret. I wear the cloth of my country part time as a member the U.S. Navy Reserve. I also wore it full time for 10 years from 1991-2001. While I don't talk about the details in any public forum, rest assured that it consumes much more than the "weekend warrior" assumption that 99% of people have. Serving my country is something I believe in to my core. It is absolutely a foundation in my life. Other foundations would be my faith and my wife and children. It's such a foundation that after leaving active duty honorably in 2001, I couldn't stand to be out any longer so I re-joined in 2007, but this time as a reservist. Doing this eyes-wide-open in the post-9/11 era comes with it a knowledge that it should be expected to go to war some day. "But you're in the Navy," so many people say. True. Also true that today's Navy Reserve is viewed as one with the full-time Navy. This is because of the conflicts going on in the Middle East. We are heavily involved in support of the war effort as directed by the Commander in Chief. The Navy doesn't only drive ships and submarines, they are also heavily involved in logistics and construction...2 things in super high demand in a time of war and reconstruction. I am a Navy Supply Officer. Logistics is my "thing" so of course, there is a high "demand signal" for me and others like me.
Now my rant: Men and women for decades have voluntarily (and in other times involuntarily) stepped forward to maintain freedom for us in the country and for future generations. With that freedom comes with it free speech. Let me preface my following sentences with this...I believe in free speech and believe it is a major part of what makes us who we are today. HOWEVER, when I see things like fundamentalists protesting during a Marine's funeral...I draw the line. That very freedom to do such a thing was paid for by that Marine's blood!!! Do you not get that????!!!! (read about this here and see some of the hatred against the family) There is free speech and then there is abuse of that freedom and this is what I believe this is. Exploiting a right to personally hurt and tread upon the family and grave of a soldier who gave the ultimate sacrifice is sickening and infuriates me beyond measure. Enough said.
Personally, I felt "attacked" myself this week. I cannot go into details although I would really LOVE to. If it was a stranger I ran into and something happened...then I'd have no problem sharing. Basically, it was just a complete ignorance of what is going on in this world right now and what truly is going on to fight and hunt down the enemy. I simply have zero tolerance for people who, instead of learning the facts, spew away at the mouth about the war and what they "think" is true. (dang, this is difficult not to give details!!!) Then, to make comments to me personally, attacking my military service...well, that's simply fighting words! THE COMPLETE IGNORANCE OF PEOPLE AND THEIR FEELING OF ENTITLEMENT TO THEIR FREEDOM FIRES ME UP LIKE NOTHING ELSE!!!! (yes, I am shouting!) breathe..... OK. This has nothing to do with giving me a pat on the back or anything like it. I want nothing like that. It's the complete lack of respect of people and acknowledgement of truth for what it is. Truth: we are a country at war and not for the first time. Truth: our freedom is MAINTAINED over generations from ALL who serve. Truth: probably, someone (perhaps even a neighbor) is serving right now or has served and you have no idea. Truth: you have NOT served! Yes, this ignorance comes mostly (100% in my experience) from those who have never raised their right hand and swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Certainly, the overwhelming majority of people are not like this but there are plenty who are. Like they say...if the shoe fits, wear it.
I think you get the idea of my rant so enough said. I leave you with the Oath I have taken more than once and will take again next August.
"I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."