“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 will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
The Oath of Enlistment
This oath is taken by every Veteran at time of enlistment and describes the magnitude of the commitment they made. To those that have taken this oath, it is more than just words, it is a commitment, it becomes a way of life and it doesn’t end when one leaves the service.
It has been said that a ‘Veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of up to and including their life.’ It is for this reason that we celebrate Veteran’s Day. It is a day for us to pause, reflect and give thanks to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard who have served our Great Nation. It is a day to salute the members of our Armed Forces currently serving abroad; placing our Nation’s security before their own lives. It is also a day to recognize the families of our brave service men and women, who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support. Subsequently, the month November has been deemed ‘Military Family Appreciation Month’ by the Armed Services YMCA, with the U.S. Government.
To my fellow Veterans, thank you for your service. Share stories of your service with family, friends and community, and even here on this blog. Each Veteran has a powerful story to tell. A story never shared is forgotten, not only by the storyteller, but by the world. The experiences of the American Veteran in the last century are remarkable, with power to impact future generations in unimaginable ways.
However you choose to celebrate this special day, the most important element is taking time to remember what it’s all about; a day to remember, recognize and honor America’s Veterans.
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
About the author:
Jeff Ficaro, Oak Forest Branch Manager, is a former U.S. Marine; proudly serving from ‘96-‘03. His time overseas included participation in Operation Deny Flight, Operation SilverWake and Operation Southern Watch, twice. He is an active member of the VFW, American Legion and the Marine Corps League.