[December 15, 2020] Yes … I’m a flag-waving American Patriot. My 40 years in the U.S. Army did not make me a patriot. Growing up in a patriotic family did not make me a patriot. I’m a patriot because I lived half my life overseas in 20 foreign countries, on four continents, which made me a patriot. With my own eyes, I saw what it is like to live in nations that do not respect the individual; America is the only place that does.
It’s not only the U.S. government that treats me as an individual; American people themselves liberally treat me as an individual. Moreover, I am free to reject being pigeonholed into a racial, ethnic, or gender group for whatever purpose. Americans think like me … that the individual is what determines one’s life outcome; working hard, being honest and truthful, and taking responsibility for what we do or do not do.
Being an American Patriot also means that I can worship my God without interference from the government. And when the government does interfere, as many state and local bureaucrats have done recently in the name of “pandemic safety,” I can ignore their petty, aspirant despotic declarations with a clear conscience and a smile on my face. If they arrest me or fine for it, so be it. I do not fear them.
Watching “war movies” did not make me a patriot. Owning a shotgun and going hunting and fishing did not make me a patriot. As a child, listening to the stories of combat Veterans from WWI, WWII and Korea helped make me a patriot. They told me of the great sacrifices made by so many of their friends, their hardships in battle, the loneliness they endured, and the thought of never seeing their family again. And they were proud they were there.
Being an American Patriot means I can speak my mind, write what I want, and know that the police will not come and arrest me for “offending” some privileged group or the government. But I do owe a debt to the United States. There exists an unwritten, long-established rule that we all give back to our nation when called. I did that, and more.
Voluntary organizations I belong to do not make me an American Patriot. And, a lifetime of wearing the U.S. flag on my right shoulder did not make me a patriot. Being in the proximity of so many dedicated people with the love of our nation does make it darn tough not to be a patriot. When push comes to shove, these are the people I would want to have in my foxhole, those I can trust and depend upon. It is hard to ignore the dedication they have to our nation and democratic values. If you call, they will come.
I sincerely believe that it is my job to help where and when I can to make America a better place. I do that, in part by supporting our military Veterans. If someone calls me that needs my assistance, I’m there. If a Veteran needs help to find medical treatment, I’m there. I may not know the answer, but I sure can find it or find someone who can. I’m there.
Being an American Patriot is not dependent upon your social status, who you know, your job, where you come from, your party affiliation, or the color of your skin, or being a part of any politically-correct victim groups so many folks want to be part of today.
Patriotism is an idea. And that idea cannot be destroyed by any law or by edict. Believing in American values works – liberty, individualism, democracy, family, responsibility, and faith.1,2
American Patriotism is the love of the United States of America. Period. Nuff said.