Monday, March 21, 2005

To support and defend the Constitution....

The current events of last Friday and today made me consider what I saw on Saturday. A group of guys from Church had bought our tickets to the Gator National NHRA races several months ago. We took off on our "mission" at O-Dark-Thirty, rendezvousing near I-75 in two vehicles. Our convoy quickly covered the distance to the first objective, the Chick-Filet in Ocala. We arrived just prior to opeing time (0630) and the staff wasn't ready....gotta love those civilians who don't read the OP Order... We ate and headed to Gainesville, so we could get a great parking spot. Besides seeing and hearing the massive displays of horsepower, we (the crowd) had the priviledge of standing while about a platoon sized group of young men and women stood near the starting line and took their oath of enlistment. I didn't see anyone not standing, and it took me back, to the last time I stood before a sailor and had the priviledge of administering the same oath. The words came back to me, and while not perfect, I almost had all the words off my lips, quietly, before the Captain from the Jacksonville Recruiting Office did over the loud speaker. It has to have been at least 12 years since I re-enlisted someone. To most everyone around me, I suspect they were just words, but they are lodged deep in me, dignified in thier simplicity, powerful in their meaning, life changing when you come to understand fuly what you just did. Today the talk shows were full of people ranting about the Terry Shaviao case. It has become an issue far bigger than a lady, who is not brain dead, but many personal accounts, even as evidenced by the recording her Father made with her last Friday, just before her feeding tube was removed. The issue is the preservation of the Constitution. The amount of acrimony tells me something is off the tracks at one level, yet on the right path at another. Polls taken today and reported indicated a vast majority of people thought the President and Congress overstepped their bounds. Some talk show hosts, adn Rep Jim Davis, made brash statements about the court system of Florida being overruled by Congress, strongly indicating something illegal had happened. Rush Limbaugh pointed out clearly it is the Constitutional responsibility of the Congress to set up courts. Only one court is specificed in the Constitution, the Supreme Court. All the rest come from Congress, and Congress has the Constitutional authority to limit any courts actions. Somehow the educational system (thank you, NEA) has failed us when citizens on the street don't have a clue how the three branches interact. The Democrats just love to take things like Lawrence vs Texas, gay marriage and Roe vs Wade to the Supreme Court, becuse they don't think the States will handle it to their satisfaction, yet when the tables are turned, they howl like they have had appendages removed, and then lie to the public by saying this can't be done. They do it all the time. They do not serve the public interest, as is their responsibility, when they distort the facts. The good news, is our elected representatives voted in the interest of a human life. I applaud the two bodies of Congress for stepping up to the plate late at night. Anyhow, to link the enlistment of new soldiers to this, it comes down to the oath of office line: "To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." I doubt there will be bloodshed over this, but it seems this core statement about the requirements of service is only know to a small percentage of the population these days. Maybe this is a bad outcome of a smaller, leaner military, where it's a very small minority who understand this, witht eh majority never serving. I for one, despite having hung up the uniform, still feel obligated to continue serving that calling. The "battleground" is different now, as are the weapons, the pen being mightier than the sword (where does the keyboard fit in?), so I commit to doing what I can. I am proud to see the youth of America still has those who will take that oath, and I just pray that it will be something they take seriously for the rest of their lives.

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