Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans' Day 2016

Forty-four years and five months ago, I joined the United States Air Force. I, like millions before and after me took an oath similar to this,
"I, ___name___ , 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; and 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."
After Basic Training at Lackland AFB, TX, I spent a few months at Chanute AFB, Il, in training, to become a technician working on Minuteman Missile systems.

The Minuteman is a solid fueled intercontinental ballistic missile land based in remote underground silos. I was fortunate to be assigned to F. E. Warren AFB, WY.

Working with those birds engendered some philosophical thoughts, like, "Suppose we actually launch these things, won't the Soviet Union be sending some back our way?" Yes, that was the philosophy of Mutually Assured Destruction. So, we knew that if any were fired, we were pretty much assured of a nuclear holocaust. There probably wouldn't be a home to go back to.

Happily, all our birds sat there in the ground, just waiting, and we never saw a wartime launch.
Minuteman Missile at Air Force Museum, Dayton, OH
photo by Liston Matthews
Now, that cold war has ended, various hot wars continue throughout the world, and young men and women are volunteering, taking the oath, and pledging their lives, health and honor to defend the same Constitution.

Thanks to all who have served. From the earliest days of the Republic, through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and even today,

--all gave some, some gave all--

1 comment:

Steve S. said...

And especially to those whom we have lost along the way.