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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This We'll Defend

This is Steven Petrick posting.

Most civilians are probably not aware of the Army motto inscribed on the seal of the Army Department. It simply states "This We'll Defend". I had cause to remember and think about that recently due to a syndicated comic strip Red and Rover, that our local paper runs. In the current run the boy, Red, has sharpened a stick and is practicing using it to defend against invading Martians. In one of the strips the dog asks (paraphrase, not an exact quote) "What is so worth defending that you would try to fight off Martians with a pointed stick?" Red's one word response: "You".

Soldiers in many lands give an oath that they will defend their nations (or their leaders). U.S. Soldiers do not actually do so. While they swear to obey the "lawful orders" of the President and the officers appointed over them, what they actually swear to defend is the Constitution. That document inherently embodies the nation and the people, but it is an idea and an ideal rather than a fixed object. We are not actually going to allow the nation to burn down while we gather around a piece of paper. We defend what the Constitution establishes.

To do that, there has to be a love of country and a willingness to place ourselves between "home and war's devastation". For us, to literally be willing to defend it with, if necessary, sticks and stones. To never give our lives because it is the easy way out, but to make anyone or anything that would harm those we are sworn to defend pay the maximum possible price, and if at all possible to make them fail in their goals.

This We'll Defend. These United States of America as constituted by the Constitution of the United States of America. Against all enemies, foreign and domestic.