Just about 20 years ago I, Richard Leonard, raised my hand and spoke: “I, Richard James Leonard, 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.” Those words at the time, for the most part, were just words that I had to say to move to the next stage of becoming a soldier, for me to move to the next step of my plan for my life.
Let me tell you quickly about my life up until that point. It was not turning into something that I think I would have been proud of now, being almost forty years old. I was not surrounding myself with the type of people that were conducive to a successful and meaningful way of life. I was working jobs that were just good enough to get by. I sold frozen meat from a van, sold Kirby vacuums, sold cell phone service, sold home audio equipment, worked at car dealerships, retail stores, lawn care, landscaping, and bounced at night clubs to make a few extra bucks. Now, there is nothing wrong with any of those jobs, but when I sat back and thought about who I wanted to be in the coming years, those things would not get me there, and I knew I would have to work harder than I was. Joining the military was a super hard decision for me because of my fear of the unknown. I ultimately decided to join the Minnesota Army National Guard because I was hoping to do my first little contract and be done with college by that time and start my adult life – a little late to be starting life as an adult, but start it none the less. I went on to basic training where I learned very quickly that I wasn’t a man, but I would be when I left there.
In the coming years, I met a girl, had a baby, got married, deployed to Iraq for two years, got divorced, went through a lot of struggle, overcame just about all of it, deployed again, bought a house, met another girl, bought another house, got married again, and I am now living what just may be my best life. Until the 2020 election season came around and our country is in its current state of affairs. We see an all-out war on the police. The country has not been this politically divided in God knows how many years. Many domestic terrorists are walking the streets and destroying businesses, forcing people from their cars and homes, as well as causing widespread violence. One side of this “conundrum” has complete and utter contempt and hate for this country and its flag (Antifa, BLM, and the radical leftists). In contrast, the other side are freedom-loving patriots that just want to live free, be left alone, and provide a good life for their families. The list of issues goes on and on; I am willing to bet you already know about the things that separate us if you are reading this. Quite honestly, ninety percent of what I’ve said so far is mostly irrelevant to my main point, but I am trying to build context.
Here is my question: When does my oath expire?
All those years ago, when I raised my hand to defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, it didn’t have an expiration date – or at least not one that I was told. I can honestly say that I never thought, in a million years, that this kind of question would come up. Still, we are a country on edge right now, and someone will need to stand up and protect it. The police have been rendered useless and labeled killers and racists. We saw just the other day a story in Ohio of a guy who was pulled over, had a gun on his lap, and told the police he was not going to comply and drove away. Only a few people anymore respect the police. They cannot do the job they are meant to do because the officials who give them their orders will end their careers, destroy their lives, and they will be left with nothing.
So, if the police cannot keep us, our families, and property safe, who will?
Let me give you some idea of who will. The people that have been laying back in the weeds just waiting for the call to arms. The call to live up to the oath that was taken and defend this country and all that we hold dear from enemies that are domestic, not foreign. When domestic terrorists are walking our streets and destroying communities, and the police can’t or won’t stop them, the job falls back onto us, the veterans of this country that swore to uphold the Constitution and defend this country. If you ask me, your past role in the military doesn’t matter – you still have a duty. Maybe you don’t need to stand a line and hold a weapon, but there is still a need for the behind-the-scenes folks (Combat Service Support). If we stop and think about it, we as veterans could probably pull off a whole military operation without the government’s assistance. There are veterans of all skill sets out there. We have generals, colonels, sergeant majors, NCOs, all the way down to privates that are no longer serving. The only thing missing is the obscenely large bankroll that government spends on supplies and other stuff, but it could be done. We have more than enough people with sets of skills to put up a good fight.
What would happen to me and my brothers and sisters if we, less than 1% of our country’s population, decided to go out and end this unrest?
Would we be put in jail? Would we be prosecuted and serve long prison sentences? In my mind, we are almost at a point where it doesn’t matter what would happen; we are already on the verge of losing everything anyway. There has never, in our lifetimes, been a situation where veterans of this country needed to think about having to do anything like this. Still, I am willing to bet many would do it without asking anything more than, “Where do I need to be and when?” The government made us, took us as untrained citizens, and turned us into professionals at whatever job we chose to do while wearing a uniform. Some of us were trained to kill and then walk over the dead bodies and kill some more. Some of us were trained to make a radio work so that we could communicate while we kill or fix the vehicles of others that are broken in the action of killing an enemy.
The point is that there is a sleeping giant in this country that is trained to destroy an enemy and will die trying if that’s what it takes.
The military never taught us how to forget the oath we took and didn’t give us the training to turn off our instinct to survive. The government created this sleeping giant, and the question remains. What will happen when the giant wakes up and starts kicking ass and won’t be worried about taking these domestic terrorists’ names?
I love this country, it is my home, and I swore to defend it with my life, and in my opinion, the oath of a patriot doesn’t end. My kids have a long life to live. It breaks my heart to know that, after all the sacrifices made to make this country what it was and hopefully will be again someday, it may be all for naught. We may have to think about fighting our people to keep our country from turning into something that is driven by hate and failed events from our history. It is disgusting that we’re talking about why America may be turning into a communist country like we’ve seen in the past or are currently seeing in other parts of the world. Aren’t some of these America-hating Americans proud of what this country went through to be what it was? All the trials and tribulations that our people of all colors and cultures endured to make it what it was. Isn’t that enough?
Our country is in peril because of a few bad apples and a media profiting from the hate we, as Americans, display and live out every day. I tell you, my friends, that this sleeping giant just might be able to put an end to this whole problem pretty quickly if it comes down to it. There is a revolution coming, and all of us as individuals need to make a decision. A decision about what side of history we are going to be on. Are veterans going to have to take this country back? If so, do we do it with an expired oath, or does our promise to the people of this great country still stand? Can we expect to lose everything (for many, lose everything once again), or will we be supported by the very same government that made us warriors and spilled our blood, sweat, and tears in a foreign country to protect our way of life? It was the ultimate sacrifice for many, even though they came home alive, but couldn’t find a way past the demons that would show up to them at night. The sacrifices of the American service members are great, but they are made willingly because the cause is more significant than we are. If the sleeping giant needs to show that to Americans once again, then I guess we better prepare for war because, without war, there clearly cannot be any peace. So, I call on all the peacemakers to do all your PCC’s and PCI’s because the call just may come, and there will not be any time to waste.
Dig deep, patriots – is your oath to this country still valid? Mine is.
Thank you to Tim Klund of Verve Forever for prompting these deep thoughts.