Commentary: America… a great and triumphant experiment has borne power and innovation beyond the pale of conservative philosophers and thinkers of previous ages. The culture of American Exceptionalism, furtively envied by our counterparts the world over, is possible due to persistent and unwavering freedom. The freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness resonates deep within the fiber of our being because we live it on a daily basis, some of us without even knowing it. Each day we wake up, see our loved ones, go to work, purchase goods, pay taxes, and occasionally endeavor upon various recreational activities, we contribute to the free market economy, we support a government that represents us, and we are members of a free society, we are the personification of the freedom we revere.
Every generation of Americans has paid the toll for this freedom with blood, tears, and scars both visible and invisible gripping at the hearts of the survivors and slowly tearing them apart from the inside out. Sacrifices, all of them great and many ultimate, must be paid to defend against those forces that would bind the free and corrupt the righteous. This sacrifice is a great and necessary national service performed by heroes that deserve to be remembered and honored eternally. What a terrible and terrifying burden many of them will endure on foreign soils through cold nights away from the warmth and love of family, a world away from anything familiar they press on. The heroes of freedom and democracy press on because it is their sacred duty, they swallow their fear, ignore the uneasiness in their stomachs and the shakiness in their hands and they fight on to project freedom and democracy into the darkest corners of the world where fear and brutality reign supreme.
There is an epidemic besieging this great nation of ours, a festering subdermal anomaly that is generally ignored. The contemporary social consciousness of the nexuses between patriotism, service, and duty are not being passed on to younger generations as they once were. Today people are increasingly self-serving and self-involved and patriotism usually extends no further than posting an uninformed rant on social media without ever taking any action beyond grilling some meat and waiving a flag on certain days of the year, burning a Colin Kaepernick jersey, or destroying that Keurig machine you were in love with last week because you are an individual who has no need to make a whole pot of coffee. Authentic patriotism does not exist in any realm without service.
After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 mostly every able bodied military aged male in the United States volunteered because it was seen as a patriotic duty at that time. We must re-affirm our cultural indoctrination of our duty to serve the communities and country we have the pleasure of living in. The United States Armed Forces are becoming increasingly desperate to fill their ranks. They keep lowering the standards and expanding waivers to accept more recruits that were previously ineligible for service. If this trend continues our military and our very way of life will be in peril, we will no longer be the shining example of freedom and democracy but we’ll be the example of self-defeat through complacency and selfishness.