timberland womens boots sale Enlistment oath has special meaning for veterans
Independence Day celebrations may include reading aloud in a public ceremony or at least thinking about parts of some of America’s “Freedom Documents” to celebrate the 234th anniversary of declaring independence from Great Britain.
We Americans remind ourselves to hold certain self evident truths about equality among human beings, and restate that we will not be ruled by a despot, and that we are willing to band together for the common good and defense. Our union is characterized by liberty and justice.
Local veterans were asked to recall the Oath of Enlistment they took to defend the Constitution drafted by the Founding Fathers. They reflected on what it meant when they entered the military, and what it still means to them.
The oath is normally recited in front of the United States Flag and other flags, such as the state flag and military branch flag. With these, or similar, words they raised their right hands and swore or affirmed to an enlisted officer to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
They each declared: “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
In addition, Army and Air Guard members swear to obey the governor of a state.
It is a personal promise to put aside their own needs and make the nation’s needs their priority, accepting the trials of a term or a lifetime in military service. military,” Fabian said. Army would support our government “rounding up people.”
“The simple answer was: I don’t think so,” Fabian said. “To my knowledge, and to my great pride, we are the only country that swears our lives to an idea not to any man, or group, or country.
“This means, that just as the heroic actions of a single warrant officer in the My Lai village, if I, or my soldiers are ordered to perform an act that is against the law of the United States, we are obligated to refuse, resist and defend against ALL enemies foreign and domestic,” Fabian said.
The “My Lai Massacre” took place in 1968 when Charlie Company 11th Brigade Americal Division entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai where Vietcong were reportedly entrenched, and from whom Charlie Company had taken heavy losses.
More than 300 unarmed civilians were killed during the search and destroy mission under the command of Lt. William Calley. A military investigation resulted in Calley being charged with murder of those civilians.
Hugh C. Thompson was a warrant officer and helicopter pilot from an aero scout team who radioed for help for wounded civilians, and then evacuated about ten of the survivors. Army award for bravery not involving direct conflict with the enemy.
“This carries with it a huge and daunting responsibility, to know, when the horror of war stops, and a crime against the Constitution begins, and right or wrong, a soldier ends his career right there, a career built out of love for country and discipline.
“But that is not the fear,” Fabian said. “The Constitution has been called a living document.’ Its meaning changes. Just as, at its writing, the African American was not considered a man. Otherwise, if all men were created equal, they would have been emancipated in 1776. An enlightened people came to realize their hypocrisy.
“Likewise, my actions in defense of what I now believe is in accordance with the Constitution, can be tried in the court of public opinion, and my actions go from patriotic, to treasonous. Those whom we seek to defend, can turn and strike with a horrible terrible resolve without thought to intent or circumstances.
“This fear is necessary. Actions against one’s lawfully appointed superior are not to be taken lightly. The words of Thomas Jefferson reach through time to us when he said, In a Dictatorship, the people fear the government. In a Democracy, the government should fear the people. What does my oath mean to me? Commitment and service to an idea every bit as bright and mythical as Camelot,
” Fabian said.
“The oath I swore on June 25, 1964 meant to me that I would perform my duties to the absolute best of my ability, respecting my country, my flag, my fellow servicemen, and for our land and all that inhabits it,” Franklin said.
“I learned what honor and respect are for my comrades, those who have walked on, and those who are still here and need our help. The values and training instilled in me from the Guard have served family, my community, and me and are still with me today,” Franklin said.
“I consider the Constitution of the United States to be the operations manual for how a free people will live and flourish,” said Brian Bobek, of Armada Township. Army in May of 1966, I, like many other young men in those days, had options. I could get married and avoid the draft, and I could have run to Canada. But I believed, as I do today, that a free people owe a debt to their country, and I felt it was my duty to do my part in keeping us free.
“Independence Day is a day of remembrance of those fellow patriots who also swore an oath to defend our freedoms, even at the sacrifice of their own lives. We owe them more than can ever be repaid,” Bobek said.
“In 1969 I took the oath. It is life binding. He bows to no man. He answers only to the Lord of Lords, the American people, and his own conscience,” Gannia said.
Last November, President Barack Obama met Japanese Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Obama’s deep bow to Japan’s emperor was criticized by some as deference or apology, and it was also defended by others as adhering to foreign protocol.
“I remember that day, Jan. 16, 1963, like it was yesterday,” Drdul said. “Being only 18, I had made the decision to enlist in the USAF for four years and once the oath was administered, there was no turning back as I would be committed to the four years, like it or not.
“I was excited and nervous when I said the following: “I, Ronald Peter Drdul, do solemnly swear 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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
“When in the military, we were told that we were to follow orders and the chain of command, which at the top is the President of the United States. We were also told that we, in good conscience, did not have to follow any order that is unlawful,
” Drdul said.