I remember a couple of days before my retirement when my CMSgt and I were talking. He was also planning on retiring in a couple of years and had been thinking about the future of America’s military. He was saying how they were going to miss my leadership and dedication to the service. He was worried about the next generation and what would become of our unit, or the military as a whole “without folks like me”. He said he just wasn’t sure about the kids that were coming up the ranks, or the new young enlisted Soldiers. I told him I wasn't too worried about it and thought we would be in good hands in the end.
The conversation got me thinking about the future and where would we be as a military force. I wondered how other generations felt about the younger troops. I thought about my uncle who was a Marine on Guadalcanal. No one will argue when I say WWII vets are the greatest generation. I also thought about my father who served during and after Korea. I’m sure they must have had the same worries; as did the generations before them. It couldn’t just be a problem of today.
But it always seems like we pull through as a nation. We always seem to find those that go above and beyond. We find those who have the right upbringing to know right from wrong. We find those who know how important it is, and what an honor it is, to serve our country. It is these young men and women who we put our trust in. We have to put our trust in them because…what would be the alternative?
During our latest endeavors in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have seen many who have gone above and beyond what one would expect. They have made America proud and are good role models for our youth to follow. They have served with honor and dignity. They’ve shown respect for their brothers and sisters - past and present. I believe they have given us the faith we need to know we are in good hands for they know how important it is to defend our constitution. They know the importance of defending those who cannot defend themselves and protecting our freedoms.
I thought it was pretty telling when I saw those young National Guard troops looking franticly in Ferguson, MO for the remnants of the American flag that was burnt by the protesters. I believe their parents have taught them well. They have absorbed what we have tried to show and teach them. Now it is their turn to teach and mentor the next generation. It is their job now to take care of America and make sure it is handed off to the next new capable hands. Do you think our standards will be upheld?
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