Soldiers take oath to obey and defend

July 07, 2004

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to Diana Linville's letter.

The thing that reached off the paper and struck me in the face was about the young man who joined the National Guard for the educational benefits and was not told by his recruiter he would be deployed to Iraq.

I know a little about that. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1983. My recruiter did not tell me I would sit off the coast of Lebanon or Libya. Of course he did not know. I did not know at the time. When I raised my right hand, I swore to obey the orders of the officers in charge of me, the president, and defend the Constitution of the United States. That young man did also. In his case, he took an oath to obey the governor of the state where he joined.

Contrary to the belief of many liberals, the purpose of the U.S. military is to protect the interests of the United States. Our government has decided it is in our best interest to deploy troops in Iraq. That young man may not agree with that, but he should have thought about that before saying "I do."


I can not remember a time when presidents Reagan or Bush asked me my opinion on foreign policy. Those educational benefits he was promised will be there when he gets back, just like mine were. But he and I signed up to do a job and that job must be done before we should expect the benefits promised us if we do that job.

I agree that the deficit needs to be controlled, but "tax cuts for the well to do?" I made more money in 2003 than I did in 2002 and paid less taxes. I do not claim to live out of a dumpster, but I or anyone who knows me would not call me "well to do."

As for eroding rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the biggest danger to that are the people that young man has been deployed to fight. I have seen many other countries during my time of service. People who have never left this country do not know the meaning of eroding rights. If everyone keeps demanding their rights instead of defending them, we soon will all know.

Mike Houchin


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