Military stories from past to present, both wars.

What is worth Fighting for? Joe Foss knew

February 22nd, 2008 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Why we fight…Over there; anywhere. These are questions that went through my mind as I read Joe Foss’s book, A Proud American, to get a feel for my new job as a speaker for the Joe Foss Institute. It’s a great job, for you are paid $5,000.00 per day plus expenses (just kidding, it’s all volunteer) to go into schools and talk about the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

It’s a program set up by General Foss’s family to help students hear from Military Veterans about why we live in such a great country. Think about it, most people depending on the depth of their school’s curriculum, have never read or studied these great words that make up the fabric of our freedom. I had to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution when I was in Fifth Grade and still know it by heart. Actually, I have a secret to share; I sang it from the old “School House Rock” song that I watched on Saturday morning cartoons back in the early seventies. Of course, at Blue Ridge School, the boarding school where I went to high school in the mountains of Virginia, we had to study Government, and that included all aspects of this monumental document. Well, I’m saddened to say that most people tend to forget the purpose of our country, and what it stands for.

I started out my class (talked for six periods) with a brief introduction about General Foss; then jumped into the actual heart of the subject–the Constitution. As with every member of our Armed Forces, we took an oath that says we will “Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Nowhere in that oath do we say we will only support the President or Congress. We support the actual document itself.

I began to tell them of things I had seen around the world and how they related to our rights. First of all, can you imagine what would happen to you if you protested the Government of China in public? Of Course, they weren’t even born when the Tiananmen Square protest happened back in 1989. I explained that the Chinese Government sent tanks to run over the folks who protested. We are given the right to free speech and to peaceably assemble if we please. They could stand on the street corner on a soapbox and read from the Bible or badmouth the policies of our Government, if they so choose. These are rights provided to us in the First Amendment, but, of course, if you stand up to your mom and dad and try to mouth off and claim your rights under the first Amendment, you might get the back of their hand since you still live under their house.

Then I told them of my cousin in Australia, and how he has a problem with the local Kookaburra birds in his back yard. I asked why he didn’t go down to the store, buy a pellet gun and take care of the pests? He told me that once, a long time ago, folks were armed in Australia, but one day they told everyone they had to register their weapons. Not to be against the new policy, everyone did as they were told. Then they returned later and collected everyone’s guns. Now only the bad guys have guns in Australia and most every other country in the world that has taken weapons away from their citizens. Our Second Amendment gives us the right to have a well-regulated Militia and the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I am a firm believer in this right and carry a weapon every time I leave my house. Better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it I always say when the friendly guy in the Wal-Mart parking lot is trying to carjack me.

I skipped over the third Amendment, for that was more aimed at British Soldiers taking over colonist homes, but the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments, man you’d think I was letting them in on a big secret when I told them they didn’t have to talk to the police at all if brought in for questioning and could ask for a lawyer. Oh by the way, if you are tried, you can expect a somewhat speedy trial and one by your peers. If you live in, oh say, Saudi Arabia or about 95% of any other strict Islamic country and a young girl has premarital sex, well they would haul her out in the street and stone her to death. I guess you could say that was a speedy trial in one sense. How about the Turkish Private, who stole a case of Budweiser beer from the Marines back in ‘92. His commander hauled him out and chopped off his hand in front of everyone as an example. See, they poop down a hole and wipe with their hand. No paper. Actually, come to think of it, they do this in most 3rd world countries like the Middle East, so if you are a thief and get caught, I’d say you have a 50/50 chance of reforming your ways or wiping and eating will get real tough. When I used examples like this, I think they started to see that how good we have it in America.

Think about it, we have a black man running for President of the United States. Not only that, but a woman. These things wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have the Thirteenth and the Nineteenth Amendments in there as well.

After giving them a short history on our Constitution, I then told them why I came back into the Marine Corps. September 11th, losing my friend Mike Horrocks the co-pilot on United 175, taking all the young Marines and Soldiers home from the war on my jet, and all of my Marine buddies mobilized to fight over in the middle east. I believe in this war, because right, wrong or indifferent to the situation out there; we are fighting because we believe in our rights that our founding fathers wrote down almost 232 years ago. The rest of the world hates us for what we stand for. I’m sure they laugh at the Code Pink idiots too but guess what; they have the privilege to be idiots because we ensure those rights as a member of the military and that makes me VERY proud.

Maybe that is why I have decided to go back for a second tour, this time in Afghanistan, because I believe in our rights as a citizen of the United States. If you feel the way I do and you are a veteran, then I encourage you to visit the Joss Foss Institute website and sign up to be a speaker, so that young kids will be enlighten as to how great this country truly is and who makes it that way!!
Semper Fi,