As America approaches Memorial Day (the official beginning of summer) many of our citizens will go to the beach, fire up the BBQ grill, and partake in their favorite adult beverages with family and friends. Many others will attend military events throughout the country to both recognize service members and pay respect to America’s fallen warriors, who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.
Pardon me because I would like to go a little deeper into what I believe exemplify the meaning of service to your country. Last year (2017) General Raymond “Tony” Thomas, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, highlighted why past, present, and future warriors should be mindful of the term called service to your country. When asked about members of elite forces writing books, making movies, providing production advice on video gaming, and personal aggrandizement, General Thomas opined that “it is a phenomenon that is anathema”. In order words, it’s wrong and selfish. Keep in mind that the oath of office does not come with an end date, so service to your country is a lifetime commitment.
Do not be confused that service to your country implies that anyone gives up their fundamental rights to expression, pursuit of happiness, equality, the American dream, or any of freedoms granted in the constitution. In fact, we all are protectors of the aforementioned rights, for every American citizen. Understanding this commitment is what separates the countless number of servants to our nation, and those who have never served a single day. Selflessness is a word that often comes to mind when I think of service to your country.
Service to your country also means contributing to this country’s aim of being a more perfect union, and not contributing to divisions, prejudices, stereotyping, discriminations, and hatred. Be aware of the three S’s, which are symbolism, slogan, and status. Far too often many of those who wrap themselves in the three S’s, somehow believe they have an obligation to criticize those who do not share their beliefs. This country is great now, and will remain great because of your lifelong selfless service.
De Oppresso Liber