As I rapidly approach the time I set for myself to retire from a combined active-duty/reserve-duty 20 year career in the US Navy Seabees, I find myself often lost in reflection; thinking about friends who retired before me, remembering some who tired of the reserves constant interruption in their lives and packed it in. Thinking about brothers and sisters who willingly went overseas to a war which came to us; nobody asked for or desired, but didn’t come home alive.
This past weekend should be my last range shooting qualification. We fired the M-16 at (what my friends in other services will call) a “weenie range”; 25 meters with an M-16 at a reduced (small) target isn’t a tough range. Needless to say I shot expert with both the 16 and the 9mm Beretta pistol, easy money.
Could also be I finally realized I needed glasses after a couple years of denial and bad scores, but beyond all that…
There was one thing happening at the same time as my drill weekend which hung heavy in the air for me and caused me to more than once sneak a look at Twitter on my phone. It caused me to check RedState.com several times during the day Thursday and left me with a dead battery when we were in convoy back to our home base an hour and a half away (contrary to popular belief, our “high-end communications gear” while in home port consists of cell phone).
It was, of course, the frontal assault on our Constitution in the form of the hostile takeover of the United States health care system by the left.
It wasn’t as though my inattention to the matters in DC were going to doom our Constitutional Republic. Who am I? I’m a fully functioning small cog in several big wheels in this country, each with its own built-in redundancies to insure if I do something wrong or nothing at all, they will continue.
But I had to know. A battle for our Constitution was raging and I was out of the loop.
In Iraq in 2003, we were constantly in the dark about what was happening around us. Not like the vehicles have AM/FM radios in them to catch the news and had they been present we wouldn’t have understood the language anyway. We were Seabees, maintaining a dusty road used by others who barely gave us a glance as they thundered off to battle who knows where.
We were out of the loop.
On Sunday, after the political battle raged over days, as back in 2003, I came to realize that warriors well equipped for battle were handling things to the best of their ability. One constitutional warrior princess was Tabitha Hale, and it was a tweet from her that made it hit home for me.
It wasn’t addressed to me, but the significance of what she said left me staring at some unknown place far away.
My squad mates are today getting ready to wrap up a tour in Afghanistan, while some of the folks qualifying with arms this weekend may soon be taking their place.
Sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic, they willingly go forth to test themselves against the foreign enemies of the United States where that same enemy lives. They not only go willingly, they ask to go. Many jump through endless hoops to even be able to go.
The domestic enemies of the Constitution are a bit dicier to deal with when you serve in the military. They have to count on people like Tabitha Hale, front-pagers and diarists at RedState, mothers and fathers, grandparents and friends in the tea party movement and countless others to identify, target, and fight the fight against those who would destroy us from within.
These people take up email, letter, road trip and phone as their weapons in the struggle against the sinister forces of tyranny that today seem to surround us even as we outnumber them.
They count on you to defend our country here at home as they defend you abroad to keep the foreign enemy from making the United States their home.
They suffer losses in their task, but continue to fight on.
This weekend we and they suffered a loss at home. But we will continue to fight on, we “happy band of brothers” and sisters. Our Constitution and our Republic await rescue, and we cannot fail her. We will not fail her.
I have no idea what path leads us to the re-founding of this great nation; its undermining took years to accomplish and the task may well prove as tough as the original founding.
We’re wide awake and alert now, but too much we took for granted that today we reap the whirlwind and we must never fall asleep again.
Ok, the last four paragraphs look like I was beaten by a book of quotes. Those who know me know my ADD is kicking in and if I mess with this much more I’ll just delete it.
My whole point is and was that whatever happens in the future, I’m damn proud to be an American after what I saw you all try to do this weekend. I know that in the end, goodness will prevail.