I pray everyone had a truly blessed Resurrection weekend; that is what this past weekend was about. It was about one person, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, laying down His life for us to have eternal life. Last week I was honored to narrate Haydn's string quartet, The Last Seven Words of Christ on the Cross. It was humbling to read and explain the meaning of Christ's final words spoken from the cross.
As well, this weekend allowed me to reflect back on some other words, four of which are the title of this missive. They are words that some men and women have vowed over the years in America. They are the words that have committed these Americans to sacrifice and perhaps make the last full measure of devotion—to give their lives--so that others can have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The words "to support and defend" come from the oath of service and office taken by our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. It is the commitment to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. When one takes this oath, they state their full name. They state that they will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, meaning the Constitution and these United States. They profess that they take that obligation freely and without any purpose of evasion or mental reservation. They basically say as Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane, not my will, but Your will be done. They affirm the words and dedication of Isaiah in chapter 6, verse 8, "Here am I, send me".
I took that oath as a young man on 31 July 1982 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville upon my commissioning as an Army Second Lieutenant. On my right shoulder was my dad, US Army Corporal Herman West Sr. Dad had also taken that oath. Dad was a World War II veteran. My older brother, US Marine Corps Lance Corporal Herman West Jr. took that oath and served in Vietnam. My nephew, US Army Lieutenant Colonel Herman Bernard West III took that oath, still serving, and has three combat tours of duty under his belt. And my Father-in-Law, US Army Master Sergeant (Ret) Ronald Keith Graham took that oath. He was a Jamaican immigrant who served for 24 years, two tours of duty in Vietnam. My Dad and Father-in-Law are buried, respectively, in Marietta National and Arlington National cemeteries, with my mom and mother-in-Law.
The real one-percenters in America are the ones who have taken that oath and served in combat. There is a saying in the military, "all gave some, but some gave all.”
Those of us who remain on this side of the grass and perpendicular must continue to honor the oath we took; it has no statute of limitations. There are those who served in uniform, those who are veterans...but the greater distinction is to be counted among those who are Guardians of the Republic. Guardians take their oath to heart and are disturbed by what they are witnessing happening in our Constitutional Republic. This is why the American Constitutional Rights Union, for which I am the Executive Director, has undertaken an initiative called, the Committee to Support and Defend. We are seeking out those Guardians who want to "Charlie Mike", continue the mission to support and defend the Constitution and stand upon the ramparts for America.
Veterans, guardians, there is a new call to action--to become engaged. America needs you to run for elected office, from local to federal. America needs you to safeguard our democratic system of electing representatives for the people by working to defend election integrity as poll workers and poll watchers. America, and our current military members, need you to be a voice, to take a stand against progressive socialism, cultural Marxism, and the politicization of our Armed Forces.
The direction that some seek to steer our Republic is inconsistent with our Constitution, and therefore, in violation of our oath of service. Politicians do not have the affinity for the US Constitution that Guardians do. Join us at the American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU) and become part of our Committee to Support and Defend.
We must also defend the legacy of those Guardians and Warriors who have done before us.
Steadfast and Loyal!