When we talk about fighting for our country, most of us think of those serving in various branches of our military, and clearly, our military is fighting for our country. As a veteran myself, the last thing I would want to do is minimize the contribution to our country from my brothers and sisters in arms who have served across all branches of the military. However, perhaps we should also consider others who can fight for our country in different ways.
In Air Force basic training, our Training Instructor told us that we had voluntarily surrendered some of our freedoms, on a temporary basis, to help protect the freedoms of all Americans. The following freedoms can be restricted:
- Freedom of Speech
- Right to Bear Arms
- Lawful Search and Seizure
- Trail by Jury of Your Peers
A story in the New York times printed in May 2013 stated that less than .5% of citizens serve in the armed forces and compared that number with 12% serving during World War II. “Freedom is not free” is attributed to retired Air Force Colonel Ryan Gremillion, and more accurate words have never been spoken. It is clear that actions of a few of our citizens, who serve in our military, have a significant impact to help protect the freedoms we enjoy.
“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice.” – President Barack Obama
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain
“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” – President Harry S. Truman
You can fight for your country without serving in the military, without the need to use weapons, and without voluntarily surrendering some of your freedoms on a temporary basis. Diversity is often talked about as a positive, and we recognize that bringing a diverse group of thoughts and opinions together make for better decisions. You can fight for our country by making sure you vote in the election – help to diversity the opinions which are used to shape our country and local politics.
“Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.” – Ronald Reagan
While you are enjoying your day off from work on Veterans Day, consider the holidays our soldiers missed with their families to serve you and all those you hold dear. While you are standing in line in the middle of the night on Thanksgiving to get great deals on products sold at many stores on Black Friday, think about how you couldn’t find the time to vote on election day. We make the time to do those things we feel are important – the things that matter. Your vote matters – your vote is your opinion being shared with your fellow citizens and shaping the future for our children and grandchildren.
I’m not asking you to commit to a four enlistment to a branch of our military, and I’m not asking you to temporarily surrender any of your freedoms to protect the freedoms for all Americans. I’m just asking for you to join the fight for our country – do your part – vote in the election today.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln
There is a saying, “You don’t know what you have until it is gone”. Those who have served in the military have had a taste of losing some freedoms through our service to this great county. I hope we never have a time when we all learn how special our freedoms were by losing them.