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To Our Armed Forces: Thank You for Your Service

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton did not mince words. A Marylander with directness unrivaled (except perhaps by Donald Trump), the national security spokesman blasted President Obama’s latest international visit to Japan as “The Final Leg of His Apology Tour.”


Under the current occupant in the White House (who is leaving in six months!), the morale in the United States military has fallen drastically. Obama’s left-wing programs of radical equality, especially in the face of evil, has turned the United States armed forces into a failed social experiment. Disorderly conduct has become the norm, with bureaucrats intent on identity politics rather than protecting the character of this country. Radical ideologies push women into the draft. Women have—and are welcome to—serve in many capacities. Have we forgotten the incredible efforts of military wives and girlfriends during World War II? How about the women who have waited and worked for their men who are standing guard for our liberties, and the world’s security?

Then again, what can one expect from a president who wanted to transform this country? How could he offer an honor when he insisted on not seeing any?

I agree with Mr. Bolton, and Obama should have praised the efforts of the American military, including the difficult yet necessary decision to drop two atomic bombs on Hiroshima then Nagasaki. The argument is simple. If the United States did not engage in a final, terminal action, then Allied forces would have had to invade Japan. President Truman’s decision ensured the preservation of millions of lives, putting to an end a destructive, evil totalitarian ideology eating away at the ends of the earth.

Let us never forget to thank the armed forces—then and now—who fought and died so that we may live. Without the brave men and women who defended our country in wars here and abroad, the right to self-preservation and self-determination would have fallen away under the crushed pillars of former republics given way to determined despotism.


The American identity, this great country, was founded on armed forces armed for liberty.

The farmers who stood on the fields of Lexington and Concord in 1775, they first took up arms against the Imperial tyranny of the British Army. Their firm example in the face of more equipped and better organized marksmen (and mercenaries) should remind us that no matter how fearful the struggles we face today (rogue Presidents, arrogant local leaders, bureaucracies run wild with no regard for the rule of law, the bigotry of #BlackLivesMatter and other insipid social injustice warriors) we have no right to cower or cave in.

Even today, as I was driving to an event for a congressional candidate in the Inland Empire (exercising my right to petition for a redress of grievances), I noticed colorful, wonderful, meaningful banners on street lights from intersection to intersection. The profiles of men and women in uniform decorate our fine cities throughout Southern California.

These signs, these banners inform not just the residents of these communities, but all passers-by, that our neighbors, peaceful inhabitants then and now took up arms to fight for our country. From World War II (and also conflicts before).

We have a home today, we are secure in our daily lives, because of the sacrifices taken for us by American military, who took up arms to defend our rights, regardless of the menace which confronted them.

Torrance, CA also initiated this inspiring memorial program a few years ago. The more streets I drive down, the more home-town heroes I learn about. Louis Zamperini is one of many veterans featured in our city: the World War II hero who broke track records at Torrance High School, survived enemy fire (and torture) to return home, receive a spiritual awakening, and inspire millions more.


Geoff Rizzo, one of my city councilmembers, shared with me, then everyone else, why he wanted to run for city council. He was not just giving back to his community. He was giving back to his father, who tragically passed away when Geoff was only nineteen years old.

Thank you for your service, Frank Anthony Rizzo.

My father fought in Vietnam (I called him this weekend to thank him for his service). His father fought in World War II. Before the attack on Pearl Harbor, American forces were aiding the mainland Chinese against the totalitarian Japanese military. Grandpa Arthur Caldwell Schaper was there helping the Chinese.

Before I hung up, my Dad told me: “Thank you for your service, too, to this country.” My small service would not be possible with the greater service of our armed men and women, those who survived to encourage us today, as well as those who died on the battlefield..

For my final words, I will let the better phrase of our greatest president speak to all who have known someone who died in combat for our country:

Executive Mansion,

Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.


I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

Have a wonderful and restful Memorial Day. There is still so much good to remember, and let us hope that we can attempt, if not measure up to, the efforts of our nation’s Greatest Generations.

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