Photo Credit: Getty Images – Oath of Enlistment
I can recall the day in the summer of 1996, standing before the United States flag at Fort Hamilton MEPS Station, alongside other enlisted soldiers leaving for basic training. I clearly remember raising my hand, and I recited the oath of enlistment. At that moment, the seriousness of becoming a soldier was evident. I was pledging to defend the “Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and to “obey the orders of the President of the United States’. As a young person entering into a new world, the words of the oath of enlistment weighed heavy on my soul, because I realized that my world in the military would be influenced by the politics of the President of the United States.
When I think of enlistees standing before the flag today, with their right hand raised, left hand over their heart, ready to ship out for basic training, reciting the oath of enlistment “to obey the orders of the President of the United States,” I begin to wonder what runs through their mind. Are these recruits concerned about the unacceptable behavior of our current political leaders and President?
In remembering this Veterans Day, I want to point out to our nations political leaders and President, that it is owed upon to those that have served and are serving, for our elected officials to show up to work every day with the intent on making decisions that are not based on their personal needs and desires, but ready to put the needs and the safety of those that are serving first.