To support and defend

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jason Stack
  • 821st Security Forces Squadron commander
"To Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

To those serving our armed forces, those words mean everything. They are in the oath of office and oath of enlistment and have great importance to each and every one of us serving. But they are more than just words we say in our respective oaths, they have a much deeper meaning, one that is different for everyone.

To me these words are the very foundation of my drive to protect and serve my nation. As a defender, I have been to some horrible places on this earth, ones where democracy is the furthest thing from reality. Each time I go to one of these places I remember just how proud and lucky I am to be an American. I feel honored and humbled to serve in our armed forces knowing that my service, like all of yours, plays a critical role in keeping our nation and my wife and daughters safe and free. It is what keeps me motivated to serve every day.

As American servicemen and women we are charged with defending our nation and our way of life, and it is the Constitution of the United States that gives its citizens the right to be free and live in a society free from oppression. Our country has had its struggles in the past, and we still have a lot of work to do. But the simple fact that there is still work to do is a testament to how strong our Constitution is. In many nations around the world unpopular views and practices are strictly forbidden, and even speaking about them in public, or private, could land you in jail or worse. But in America free speech is one of our most closely guarded rights. If you have an opposing view point you are encouraged to speak out, and can do so without fear of reprisal from the government.

The most amazing thing to me is that many times things change based on something one person chose to speak out against, and that is what true freedom is all about.

I won't say that I agree with every opinion that everyone has, because simply put, I don't. I have my own opinions, some popular and some not, and I am sure you have yours. While I may not agree with yours I will gladly put my life on the line every day to protect your right to have and voice that opinion, as you do every day for me.

I support and defend the Constitution of my nation because I believe that every person -- regardless of race, creed, culture, gender, sexual orientation and any other term you can come up with -- deserves the right to live in a free society safe from the horrors of oppression that others have to endure in other parts of the world. You don't have to agree with my reason -- that's your right -- but I would encourage you to ask yourself what your reason is that you support and defend the Constitution of our great nation.