Monday, November 12, 2007

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    This nation will remain the land of the free
    only so long as it is the home of the brave.
    -Elmer Davis

    People - even other people in the military - often ask me why I joined the Navy. (For those of you joining in late, I'm a Navy doctor in San Diego.) In honor of Veterans' Day today, I thought I'd tell you.

    I don't always seem like the obvious person to join up. I can't hit a target with a handgun, much less a rifle. (One of these days I'll learn . . .) I struggle to do my push-ups in the semi-annual Physical Readiness Test. (Getting much better, thanks to the Navy.) I knit. (People scratch their heads.) I have an Ivy League education. (Somehow this one really seems to get people.)

    So why did I raise up my right hand and swear to support and defend? Quite simply, because I didn't have to. I was born free and American, not by any particular merit or virtue of mine, or even my parents (although I think them particularly virtuous and meritorious). I just got lucky. A good family, a good education, and the perspective that - in another time and another place - I wouldn't have had the choice to serve or not to serve. It's an all-volunteer force and I volunteered. Somebody has to. Why should I assume that doesn't mean me?

    I do solemnly swear 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.
    On this Veterans' Day, pause for a minute and think about all those folks who served and who are serving now. It's not political. It's definitely not conservative. (I went to Brown, remember? And the United States Constitution remains a rather radical document, even 230 years later.) And it's really not about sales at the mall. It's a personal stand for public service. Because I believe 1787 was a really good year.

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    19 Comments:

    Anonymous lynda said...

    Thank you for serving, Theresa. I'm proud to count you as a friend.

    11/12/2007 10:17 AM  
    Anonymous Beth said...

    And we thank you today and every day.

    11/12/2007 12:15 PM  
    Anonymous Donna said...

    I'm proud to know you - you're my kind of patriot. And the knitting is a plus :)

    11/12/2007 12:23 PM  
    Anonymous Emily said...

    Very nicely put, Theresa. Thanks, by the way.

    11/12/2007 12:51 PM  
    Anonymous Kristen said...

    Many thanks, Theresa.

    11/12/2007 1:21 PM  
    Anonymous Bonny said...

    A very sincere thank you.

    11/12/2007 3:29 PM  
    Anonymous Suzanne said...

    On this Rememberance Day, I am so proud to have you and my brother ("the husband") serving our country. Thank you, for the simple reason: "because you don't have to".

    11/12/2007 5:19 PM  
    Blogger AllyB said...

    Thank you. I salute you and your fellow volunteers on this solemn occasion.

    11/12/2007 6:50 PM  
    Blogger DesertRat said...

    Thank you, both for your service and for your thoughtful post.

    11/12/2007 7:37 PM  
    Anonymous tiennie said...

    Thank you.

    11/12/2007 7:42 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you.
    -punkin

    11/12/2007 8:41 PM  
    Blogger Dorothy said...

    Thank you for your service Theresa! As a Navy brat and Air Force wife I appreciate all those who take care of our loved ones in the service.

    11/12/2007 9:28 PM  
    Blogger Joan said...

    It's because of people like you that the rest of us "don't have to" either. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    11/13/2007 5:02 AM  
    Blogger Wool Winder said...

    Many thanks to you and all those who volunteer to serve our country and all those who have already served!

    11/13/2007 5:25 AM  
    Blogger Liz said...

    Amen. And thank you.

    11/13/2007 6:15 AM  
    Anonymous theflitgirl said...

    You have inspired me! Do you think the Navy's looking for any proofreaders? Copy editors? Surely they could use some romance-novel-writing literary critics! No? No takers?

    Ah, well. At least you have put your talents to good use :)

    11/13/2007 9:02 AM  
    Blogger JayJay said...

    Thank you and all other service men and women for volunteering! I'm glad someone is reminding people about the real reason for Veteran's Day, and that it has nothing to do with shopping. (Why does it seem like all US holidays have been turned into shopping events?)

    11/13/2007 12:03 PM  
    Blogger TeresaB said...

    Thanks to you and lots of others like you who choose to serve. My brother is retired Navy & his son is currently serving. Thanks to you all.

    11/13/2007 4:00 PM  
    Blogger Rebecca said...

    BRAVO! Well said! And, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for serving our country!

    11/13/2007 8:15 PM  

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