The United States Military is already renowned for those that give the full measure of devotion. As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, you are to be reminded that this is a day to reflect on and honor those that have given their all for our nation. Army LTCOL Allen B. West takes a slightly different track in reminding us what we can do as a measure of devotion for those who have served. Pay attention and lend a hand.
As Written By Allen West for Townhall:
(Editors notes: Co-written by Matthew Howe)
On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of our Nation’s greatest speeches, the Gettysburg Address. The purpose was to dedicate the Soldier’s National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of a battle fought that year in July that turned the tide of the Civil War. President Lincoln was not the primary speaker for the event, but his words are everlasting. His closing words of a speech that was less than 270 words are very appropriate for today. This is what President Lincoln said, “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
Having served in the United States Army, it was our true honor to be willing to take an oath to this Nation, its fundamental principles, and rule of law codified in the Constitution. And yes, it was an oath we took with no mental reservation or purpose of evasion to give that last full measure of devotion to these United States of America.
As we prepare for Memorial Day 2017, let us endeavor to remember that this Day, this weekend, is not about the beginning of summer. It is not about swimming pools opening or hosting BBQs. This day is set aside to remember those who have given that last full measure of devotion, their task. And over all these 242 years, dating back to the Minutemen who answered the call at Lexington Green, their purpose was to ensure a new birth of freedom, one that this world had never known.
And so we Veterans, who remain on this side of the grass, have a new task, an obligation. We must indeed ensure that those sacrifices made shall not be in vain. We must tell the stories of our fallen Brothers and Sisters as a greater cause to preserve this blessing we have, America
However, there is another task, an even greater measure of devotion that remains before us as a Nation, if we are to honor those who were willing to make the “last full measure of devotion.
Our America is one where on average 20 to 22 veterans are taking their lives, committing suicide, every day. They are countless horrific stories about the abhorrent treatment of our veterans in the VA hospital system. And we have a shameful issue with homelessness amongst our veterans. Should this be our level of our devotion to these brave men and women?
This year we are anticipating 200,000 troops across all branches of service transitioning off of active duty. The gap is that these Service members, while skilled, may indeed lack the quantifiable certifications necessary for gainful employment in the civilian sector. A reinvestment of using existing benefits such as the post-911 GI Bill in coordination with company training is a viable means to the end of better employment opportunities for these warriors. Of course, we need to ensure that we have the policies of economic growth that increase the capital in our small, medium, and large business sectors to enhance these opportunities.
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