For me, this is a very special Veterans Day. I am so proud of the officers and soldiers that truly believed in their Oath of Office.
To this day, I still remember saying those words; “I, Anthony T Jackson, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign, and domestic….”
While those are just words that are easily repeated when an officer is commissioned or a soldier re-enlists, it is what they represent and our solemn belief in those words that separate our nation from so many other failed governments throughout history.
Our military must be “apolitical” regardless of our personal beliefs. Our first duty is to the Constitution of the United States. During my studies at West Point, we were taught the lessons of what happens when we follow unlawful orders. The My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War was a dark stain upon our military, but the lessons learned are imprinted upon our psyche.
So as a veteran, who served in 2 wars and 2 hotspots, it is with honor that I proudly look upon the women and men currently serving this great nation.
As a veteran, I was afraid of what happened January 6th. Imagine what our country would look like today if the military had gotten involved in politics. Imagine what the state of our country would be if our military had not shown restraint in dispersing the crowds on Capitol Hill?
We have the greatest military in the world. The best trained and the most professional. Without a doubt, our country would be a dramatically different and scarier place to live if our military personnel had violated their duty and not upheld their Oath of Office.
So, as a veteran, I salute those who served before me and set the standards and those that are currently serving continuing to uphold those standards. Thank you and Happy Veterans Day!!
Anthony T Jackson, 1LT(P), Airborne Ranger Infantryman Division, Fort Drum, NY