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Very recently I received an email sent via my circle of friends and readers. The email highlighted a short letter that was forwarded by a member of a group that I have been honored to be associated with over the past several years. They are an amazing group of men and women that serve as honor guard at numerous events such as military and police funerals, homecomings, honor flights, and an array of other venues which honor men and women of valor of all ages.
When I read the short letter, I was stunned at the author’s shallow position on patriotism. Essentially, he feels that the only Americans that have proven by their actions that they are patriots are those that have worn the uniform of the US Military. As he states, “It dawned on me that many of us call ourselves patriots (one of 3 mandatory factors* to being an actual 'American', versus just a US Citizen), and a few of us 'regular' folks are indeed patriots; but please consider this - There is but one group, and one group alone, that can actually PROVE they are US patriots: the men and women of the US Armed Forces.”
Make no mistake, everyone knows that I have nothing but the utmost respect and esteem for our veterans and our men and women in uniform that do what they do, so that all of us can do what we do. I am humbled every day by their heroism and service on our behalf.
Of course, the writer is certainly entitled to his opinions; however, speaking for myself and no doubt many millions of Americans, I take extreme umbrage with his vacant assertion on patriotism.
For starters, let’s see what the very word Patriot means. According to Webster’s Dictionary it means the following; ”a person who loves and strongly supports or fights for his or her country,” and “one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.” In neither of these definitions does it specify military service as a precursor for the label. But that is just to lay the groundwork for my point.