When I came of age in the mid 70s, the country was still reeling from the effects of the very nasty national debate that had taken place over the war in Vietnam. To be brutally honest, at the time I was glad that I was just a bit too young to be eligible for the draft at that point. I did not understand nor appreciate then what I do now… that those who have served our country in the military have made great sacrifices for the rest of us and are deserving of our profound respect and gratitude.
Being a “child of the 70s”, I had absorbed so much of the prominent cultural smoke and mirrors being promulgated at the time, which was often strongly anti-military. It was not until the disastrous effects of Jimmy Carter’s presidency became apparent that I began to understand the myriad of problems created by the liberal approach to foreign affairs. His weakness and fecklessness, as well as the neglect and downsizing of the military, led directly to the Iran hostage situation and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – two situations still causing significant problems 30 years later.
It was not until Reagan became president and started to reverse these policies that I began to appreciate how I had been misled. “Peace through strength” became more than just a slogan…it became a guiding principle that led eventually to the downfall of the Soviet empire. This was only made possible by Reagan’s steadfastness in the face of withering criticism, and the carrying out of this policy by the men and women in uniform.
So to all who have served in the Armed Forces…we salute you!