Recently I had lunch with 10 men about my age. The question was asked, How many of you served in the military? Six of those men had served in various branches and for varying periods of time. These were men who served post World War II. I believe that is a higher percentage than any subsequent generation.
Why is that important? Each of these men did two things that sets their generation apart.
First, by serving in the military they essentially gave the United States a blank check on their lives. They were willing to give some or give it all in the defense of this nation.
Secondly, they swore an oath to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The oath of each service man or woman resembles the presidential oath of office.
If you look back at the Declaration of Independence you see that the signers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. The commitment to the United States is total and unconditional.
Currently we are debating over illegal immigration and whether to take refuges from countries and ideologies that are declared enemies of the United States. The debate is fierce and the consequences have national security implications.
My generation, I believe, is as compassionate as any. We agonize over the senseless killing of civilians in Syria. In the past we have, and would again, fight for the liberty and safety of war-torn people. We also are willing to send aid and provide comfort for the victims in their own land. If needed we would send arms and yes, as a last resort, even troops to help those at risk.
We are not willing to import terrorism and chaos that will produce a war torn landscape in the United States similar to what we are seeing in Syria. That is not what we want for our ancestors and not what our generation and those that preceded us were willing to fight and die for.
We pledged our lives and our honor for our country. We were willing to defend the Constitution for the benefit of our children and our grandchildren and their children after them. Our hope is that the following generations will preserve that heritage so that our heroes will not have died in vain.