Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Oaths and Military Oaths

I am an officer in the United States Army National Guard, and one of the things that I have always found to resonate with people from different countries is our methodical, predictable, and most importantly peaceful transition of power every four years in our country.  This allows people to hold our leadership accountable for their actions, to reward those leaders who best represent our ideals with votes, and those votes determine who the new leader will be.

People in the military take the following oath, notice it has no bearing on the party of the President, but it supports his oath directly.

Officer Oath: I, ___., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

Most of my family voted for President Obama, Just FYI to the news media, I appreciate the historic perspective that goes along with electing a black man to the office of president. I will point out that every single voter who voted for either candidate was an American Citizen.

When I look to my left or right in a formation or on a mission in a HMMWV, I do not see a German American, or a Hispanic American, or an African or Irish American. I see an American who will save my ass if I get in trouble, regardless of what part of our nation he was born in.

Along with it being time to embrace our new President, I believe it is also time to embrace each other as Americans, and please hold the prefixes.



Sunday, January 18, 2009

Under Siege

Damn! They're everywhere! Hapless, clueless, directionally challenged tourists have descended in mass quantities upon my hometown. Tour buses the likes of which I have never seen before crowd the streets, fighting for the right of way in my lane. A friend in the hotel business said in one day alone they had over 1000 people check in. Yikes!

Security, we're used to it here in the Nation's Capital. Make sure you have nothing other than your wallet and your winter woolies and get ready to stand in line. And wait. Photo ID is a must have, don't leave home without it. Metal detectors, magnetic wands, military and law enforcement by the thousands. Yep, we've seen it here. This is, after all, life in DC post September 11th.

Road closures, uh huh, used to that too. Phantom traffic jams that occur for no reason are a daily event. However the road closures expected over these next few days are exceptional. I'll be heading in to work on Tuesday 4 hours early just to make sure I get there.

Although to be honest, making it into work is the least of my anxieties. Once I do arrive at work I will wait with my coworkers. As we go about taking care of our patients we will be waiting and watching and praying for a quiet, calm day. On a this unprecedented day few will recognize or understand what those of us in law enforcement and health care know. There is a monster lurking in our country. A monster that seeks to destroy us for no other reason other than we were born in the United States of America.

I spoke with my family on the very real possibility "an event" could occur. I set in place the communication plan I would use if something were to happen. I didn't incite fear or attempt to be melodramatic. I'm simply realistic in this post September 11th world. Realistic in a way only one who has cared for terrorism victims and war wounded can be.