I have now come to the middle point of my life. Here I find myself in a much different place than I envisioned growing up in the mountains of the pacific northwest. As a child I had always dreamed of playing professional football…I had my chance to play at the collegiate level, but instead, I chose service and sacrifice. Yes, I joined the United States Army and was shipped out to Ft. Benning, Ga in late summer of 1997.
That experience would forever change my path and would continue to mold me into who I am today. I will always be grateful for the men that trained me, the men that didn’t just demand excellence…that wouldn’t have been enough. No, these men demanded perfection and they refused to quit nor did they allow others to quit, at least until they had gotten what the asked for. The reason is simple, they knew what I didn’t. They knew that some day we might be called upon to defend the greatest cause on earth…Freedom. They also knew that in the trenches it wasn’t freedom that drove men to perfection…it was their brothers. The lives of those men who would go to the wall with you. The thoughts of their children growing up without a father, or a wife made a widow and left to grieve and mourn the death of her beloved. These thoughts are what drive men to lay down their lives. John 15:13 tells us that greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.
While I never was called upon to fulfill this part of my oath, or to make that great a sacrifice; I know many a men that were, and some that are no more. Now I sit here at the middle point in my life and staring down at 6 children and a wife that are living in a far different world than has ever been before…I wonder. I wonder what I can do to improve their lot. While it may be to late to improve my own I will stop at nothing to improve theirs.
The first step in this effort is to demand from them the same mentality that was demanded from me and every other infantrymen that ever stepped foot on sand hill…perfection. I am not an unrealistic person though, I know they will never reach it, but if they are ever going to succeed and excel then they must make every effort to do so. This however requires work…much work. Therefore my mindset is to teach my children to value work and to never make excuses or complain about how unfair things are.
This effort is increasingly hard to maintain in a system that teaches the opposite. There are competing ideologies in our nation today that would have my children to believe that by complaining and protesting enough about unfairness than somehow they can avoid the work and benefit just the same. I have taught my children to value freedom and to fight for it, while the system teaches to value free stuff and to likewise fight for it. The only thing free as far as my children have been taught is salvation alone…that price was already paid by a King who valued freedom more so than any freedom fighter that our world could ever produce.
My oldest daughter Isabel has a dream of one day dancing in the New York Ballet and I am determined to see her dreams come true; my oldest son Ty, (adopted from China) has a dream of one day being President of the United States…he cannot however fulfill this dream because he was not born on American soil, and unlike our current administration, my household follows the rules, so he is happy to settle with being the CEO of Coca-Cola and I am once again determined to see this all come to be; my middle son (Justin) dreams of one day becoming a Navy Seal, even now if you look for him on a Saturday afternoon and can’t find him, know that he is somewhere in the woods behind our home preparing himself for his destiny…and be thankful that boys like him still grow in freedoms soil; My youngest daughter (Sara Beth) just wants to be a princess and live at home forever. While I have no control over whom she marries much less the royal princes of the world, I do control how I treat her…and she will always think she is my princess. The others, well…they are not quite old enough to dream but when they are I will be right there beside them building castles in sky.
For now I must do everything I can to ensure that when they are old enough to pursue their dreams, they will have the freedom to do so. Therefore, when I go to the polls this November I will be voting for Donald Trump…he has for better or worse created a life that dreams are made of and all I ask is that my children have that same opportunity. While I am half dead already their lives have just begun and the America I want my children to grow up in is the same America that I knew. While I don’t agree on much of what Donald Trump has said in the past…on the issues facing this country and threatening our freedom…I do. There is no doubt in my mind that if my son were trapped in a consulate halfway around the world and staring death in the face…Donald Trump would spare no resource to get him out alive and deliver his own death blow to those that had determined to draw first blood. God Bless America and may America Bless God.