My good friend Carl is a proud veteran, as he should be. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. But, he is a humble man who leads a very quiet life and he would be embarrassed if I publicly identified him. So, to respect his privacy, you will only know of him as Carl.
When Carl signed up, many years ago, he took this oath:
“I, Carl, 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.”
Carl once told me that this was a defining moment in his life. The oath and his military service, focused his attention on the importance and the essence of what it means to be an American citizen. To this day, that oath and his belief in God, have been central to his personal evolution into manhood. They have shaped his character and given him a John Wayne-like confidence tempered by a placid demeanor. He loves our country and flies its flag.
He is unquestionably, the proto-typical, red blooded American fighting male, created in the image of G.I. Joe.
In the 45 years since his discharge from the military, Carl returned home and made a life for himself by doing a number of things. He worked hard, bought a piece of land and built a home. He started his own business and employed other people. He is a sportsman who loves to hunt and fish and he is a Republican.
Over the years, he has acquired a small collection of firearms. Some were hand-me-downs from his grandfather and some were gifts. He even won a nice rifle in a raffle held at the Friends of the N.R.A. Banquet. Others he bought for hunting and home defense. He regards his guns as tools, with each one intended for a specific purpose. He appreciates and recognizes, that it is only possible for him to own and enjoy them, because of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The very same Constitution he swore to support and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic!
Any conversation about gun control legislation or the potential repeal of the Second Amendment quickly escalates into proclamations that his oath to support and defend the Constitution has not expired and how he is prepared to fight to keep his rights. Gone is his placid demeanor and his John Wayne-like confidence abruptly morphs into a Rambo-like preparedness. “If they’re smart, they better not knock on my door!” he says.
I would have expected nothing less from Carl. In fact, every veteran I have ever known bar none, shares these same patriotic values. I’m sure there are some who don’t, but the vast majority of veterans do. They are the Oath-Keepers who are ready, willing and able to defend the flame of Liberty, no matter who threatens it! Veterans know that many of those who served in the Armed Forces before them, and some who served with them, died to protect our Constitutional freedoms and nobody’s going to take them away!
In five days our great nation will be honoring those brave military men and women who gave their lives in service to this country. Memorial Day is a somber day of remembrance for the estimated 1.3 million brave American men and women who perished while protecting our freedoms. In our Civil War alone we lost 750,000 soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The immorality of slavery deeply divided the nation then. I fear gun control legislation or the potential repeal of the Second Amendment will divide the nation next.
We cannot allow that happen.
Let this Memorial Day be a call to action for all veterans and non-veterans alike. If you believe in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we must unite peacefully and use our First Amendment rights in our protection of the Second Amendment. We must win the hearts and minds of the American public to stem the ever increasing tides of infringement on our right to keep and bear arms.
In the words of Michael Marshall, “We have to become victors and take charge of our lives and take responsibility for the rights we have been bestowed with. This means defending those rights from those that wish to deprive us of them. We can do this through joining with groups that are fighting to protect our rights starting with the Second Amendment. Groups like the Liberty First Foundation and The Religion of Arms are working to protect these rights so we can be victors. We have to stand together to protect our rights from those who wish to take them from us.”
Veterans are the victors who make up a large part of those who act as bodyguards of the Constitution. They served to defend it once before and they will do it again. So, let us honor those 20 million men and women who, served and survived the horrors of war, on this coming Monday and then again on Veterans Day in November. Together, we can stop this infringement insanity.
Carl is a veteran I am proud to call my friend. I salute you and thank you for your past service. Now, we must continue to fight on to protect the Constitution, together!
Please share this story on Facebook with every veteran you know so they understand they are needed again. The Liberty First Foundation and The Religion of Arms is counting on you!