The concept is fairly simple. You raise your right hand, take your oath swearing to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and (omitting a few grueling months of basic training) you’re in. You’re in the biggest gun club in the world, the United States military.
Every one of us who took that oath and made that pledge knew what it meant. We knew that this was by no means the safest and surest path; yet notwithstanding, we made the decision anyway. We accepted that there are things worth more than one man’s life, that the principles we believe in are worth fighting and if necessary dying for. It was no small pledge; in fact for many of us, it has come to define the very person we are today.
The sad truth is that although we knew/know the ramifications of our decisions, there are those who never got a vote. The wives we’ve met and married along the way arguably may have known what they were getting involved in, but you can’t say the same for the children we’ve fathered. Suddenly your sacrifice is their sacrifice, and the price of these principles becomes much more dear. Things are no longer simple.
Two weeks ago, I buried yet another friend killed in the war on terror. Rereading his obituary, there is an odd little sentence at the end, “He is survived by his wife and their unborn daughter.” It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this little girl’s life is forever changed, and she hasn’t even entered this world.
Before Charles was killed, there was Greg, and Darrel, each whom left five children and a wife. And long before any of these guys, there were countless others. Whether they were your friends or mine, we believe it falls to the veterans to ensure their sacrifice was not in vain or forgotten. Not just their sacrifice, the sacrifice their families have been forced to endure.
Without much trouble, you might see the butterfly effect, how these isolated incidents: a shooting here, an explosion there, all of a sudden have impacts across the planet far from the battlefield. As the ripples keep growing, you see how a small group of this next generation of children will grow up without fathers or mothers. You see how these children will forever be different because of this and forever changed by events that they had no part in.
It is our responsibility as veterans to ensure these burdens are not carried alone. No monetary amount can ever make up for the loss of a parent. But it can ease the burden on the surviving mother or father. It can make these children’s lives a little bit brighter.
Wounded Warrior Family Support offers assistance and various means of support to these families. Our mission at Team Columbia is to raise money for this charity by running the Marine Corps Marathon. Our goal is to inspire family, friends, and veterans to act, and remind them of the casualties we still have here at home.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)
CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.
President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense
Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.
It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.