On October 23rd, 2000, I raised my right hand and spoke the following words; I do solemnly swear to 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.
In marking the 10th anniversary of that day, I reflect upon the words I spoke that day. I made a solemn oath to protect and defend this country and the citizens thereof. I also pledged to uphold the ideals on which this country was founded. The belief that all men are equal and are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that those rights are granted by God, not by man.
I am proud to be an American, and proud to serve my country as a Soldier. I stand firm in the knowledge that I live in and serve the greatest nation on earth. I can be firm in that knowledge, because I know what this country was founded upon.
Five years ago, I was serving in Iraq, in an unpopular war. I was doing my part to help bring democracy to a nation oppressed by a theocratic dictatorship. I knew that what my comrades and I were doing was right and good. That we were fighting for the Iraqi people to have what we as Americans had taken for granted. I remember seeing pure joy and jubilation as the once oppressed were returning from their first free elections. It was a blessing to be a part of their new lives.
I am also blessed by my family and friends, who have supported me for the last decade and as I move into my second. I know that without the love and support you have given me, and the sacrifices you have made, I would not be able to serve. A Soldier is only as strong as their support system, thank you for being my support system.
All of this makes me reflect on where I have been, where I am now, and what the future holds. I know that God has a plan for me; I can see His hand in my life as I look back. And, I trust in Him to guide my path for the future.
That is all.