Today I read an article about how the POW/MIA flag came about and the controversy that surrounds it. There are now organizations that want the flag to be removed from the capital. They want the flag to be removed because of what it symbolizes or in fact what they think it symbolizes. I think if this flag is removed it will be the end to this country and what we stand for as Americans. I am all for history and love learning about where we come from, how we got where we are, and where that history might take us.
In this country we thrive off of history, tradition, and the American way. That way is being free to choose, free to fight, free to live, free to speak, free to be happy, and free to just be who we want without the continued hypocrisy that the rest of society puts out there. I din’t choose to become a soldier because it was cool or because it was the right thing to do. I didn’t join the Army to follow a fad or to be like someone else. I joined because I’m an American that wanted something better than the world had given me. I joined to serve my country. I was born into poverty and without any hopes of being anything. Instead of complaining about it and blaming society or the government I dreamed bigger and did everything I could to make a better life for myself and I knew that the only way I was going to do that was by joining the military. It gave me structure, discipline, hunger to learn, skills unmatched to others, and leadership values. But the best thing it gave me was a purpose in this world. As a poor kid growing up, I had no real purpose, no dreams of being something better. I was just me, but now, I am more than just me. I am a proud American Veteran who served my country honorably that has the skills to lead and has the skills to adapt.
History shows us that kids that grow up in poverty don’t go far…I’m sure there are some statistics out there that would show a very low percentage of poverty children that really don’t amount to much and I’m sure its right. I would also guess there’s a poll out there that black kids that grow up in poverty areas have no real futures and I’m sure that would be true. But what I say to those is the system didn’t fail them, society doesn’t fail them, and the government does fail them. History shows us that the Generations fail them. The generation before that couldn’t make it out of poverty have left the generations that are in poverty now still in poverty. The only blame you could put on the government is the fact that they give so much away for free. I’ve always heard the saying, nothing is free in this world, and it is true. If you get free welfare, is it really free? All that welfare does is give you false security. If the government gives you a free cell phone, is it really free? They can not track you. If they give you free healthcare, is it really free? Maybe for you, but tax payer dollars that could go to taking care of families that pay those taxes are used to give you free healthcare, so the saying really is true, nothing in this world is free.
Now you may say, this guy hates people on welfare. Well you would be wrong. I grew up on welfare. I grew up when there wasn’t an EBT card and we got booklets of food stamps and that’s all we had to buy food with. I lived in hand me downs, did homework by candle light, and used trash cans to catch rain water to flush toilets. My first color TV I found sitting on the side of the road and used a skateboard to bring it home. It was a floor model and had a horrible picture but it was in color. I don’t hate people that accept welfare, but those that live on welfare are just using the system and taking away from others that otherwise really need it. But isn’t that being a true American?
Now back to the flag issue. The POW/MIA may have been designed to change the minds of the American people, today it stands for so much more. It gives pride and hope to so many and is a constant reminder of those that were captured and lost in combat. Its something that Veterans rally around and a symbol of what has been lost. Yes its beginning maybe harsh, what it has become is so much more and that’s almost anything in America. You can look back on so much of History and see similar comparisons. Almost anything starts from something bad. This country was formed in war and now we protect the world from the same types of war. The Rebel flag may have been surrounded by racism, but today it means southern pride. KIA used to mean Killed In Accidents, but its now known for some of the safest cars and the cool Kia Soul. Everything starts from something almost negative enough to start a movement. Whether that movement is to bring awareness or to make things better for the movement. The race issues formed the NAACP, with out racism this organization wouldn’t exist. It’s very creation and existence is to help those being repressed by racism and to bring awareness about racism. If racism was to be abolished, again, and there were no more racism, this organization would have no reason to exist.
We learn from History, we don’t use History to attack things in the present that we don’t agree with. We listen to History so we don’t repeat our past. Instead people are using History to destroy are future instead of using the present day issues to strengthen our future. The country is on a slippy slope of evil and the political correctness in this country has completely gotten out of hand. We used to be a strong country, but we are a weak minded country. We have taken a back seat to being bad ass and instead have taken on a new definition of weakness.
I saw this first thing in the Army. When I joined it was “be all you can be”, then it was the “Army of One,” then it became, “Army Strong.” Be all you can be was a drive to form you into an elite soldier, being all that you can be to yourself and to the country. We used to joke about the “Army of One” as all that you can do by yourself and for no one else and that really did go with what was going on in the military. When I joined everyone worked as a team, but it seemed to go down hill a little and team work really wasn’t present. Then the Army Strong came out and it was a strong logo, but the Army behind the scenes were changing. You couldn’t yell at soldiers no more, you could degrade soldiers, and in basic training you were getting stress cards. Some may say all those things are not necessary, I would say your wrong. Its completely necessary to train and create a soldier. Soldiers are born, they are created by Drill Sergeants. Sometimes degrading a soldier helps them learn and they never do it again, yelling at a soldier that has never dealt with stress before is good when its time to handle stress. Training as you fight is how it used to be. You can’t pull a stress card out during combat.
What we have lost in this country is a sense of who we are, why we are here, and what makes us American’s. We have taken everything that makes this country great and degraded it so much that we have nothing left to be proud of. We have also taken over 200 years of fighting, freedom, and the American way of life and flushed it down the toilet for what, for a little safety or to keep are feelings from being hurt. If your feelings are hurt your in the wrong country. This country was founded by hardcore believers in freedom and what it would take to keep us free.
In the end, if your not willing to take a bullet and put your life on the line for the Constitution and the American people, you don’t belong here. That’s what I think being a true American. You don’t have to be a soldier to feel that way. I know plenty of civilians that would be willing to step up and defend this country and sacrifice their life for what this country stands for.
We have lost too much. We need to recover what we have lost and be the United States of American again.