Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dont Tread On Me

As a veteran of the United States Armed Services and a patriot of my country, I am not averse to speaking out in support of our Land of the Free. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t stand on a soap box and I don’t chase down folks to argue my points to, but if I am standing in line at the local gas station and I hear someone begin talking smack about America, I might speak up and respectfully defend her. I gave an oath to do so and that didn’t end when I completed my tour of duty and removed my uniform.
I am also a motorcyclist, I ride an old beat up cruiser from the ‘70’s, it is scratched and dented, and dirty and loud but it is my ride and it has carried me over many miles without fail. On this bike I have a sticker, it is yellow with a coiled snake in a patch of grass drawn on it and the words below the snake read…”Don’t tread on me.” It is small, 3 x 5 inches or so. I take pride in Gadsden’s flag; the meaning for me behind the flag as I understand it, is that I won’t go out and pick a fight with someone but if you threaten me, those I love or the land I stand on, I will strike to protect it. As a soldier I took a similar oath to my country when I joined the Army and I hold that oath very close to my heart to this day. Love it or leave it, this is America, and there is no free’er country in the world. In no other place on earth can I, given the opportunity simply by asking for it, and stepping up to work for it, attain whatever level of success I wish. Not to say it isn’t difficult at times, I know this more than many having suffered for years with PTSD, not everyone feels like they may have been given that opportunity, but here in America you have the choice to be or not to be, to speak up for or against the establishment and to live wherever you want to. You can go to school or sit at home and grow flowers to sell on Saturday mornings in the city park if you wish.  But you will have to go after it, nothing is free, including the freedom we enjoy in this country to do as we please. And it’s the soldiers who’ve paid for that freedom.
Unfortunately in recent history there are those who’ve tarnished that ideal for those of us who wave Gadsden’s flag. Please don’t let a couple of mislead, dare I say mentally anguished people destroy a symbol constructed to gather those whom believe in our country to fight together for her. God bless the officers whom were ambushed and whose lives were stripped from them and their families. These men donned a badge and took an oath to serve and to protect this country’s citizens, how dare these two villains pass judgment on them and take their honorable souls from our lives. God knows these two officers and they will stand by each other’s side to protect us forever more from another place, God bless them. As for the other two, they will be damned and suffer the consequences.
Some folks in the media have gone on to equate Gadsden’s flag to radicalism because of events such as this. It’s time to focus on the villains, and the mechanism that began these events, not the symbol. It is a symbol of strength and pride, bravery and commitment, let’s let that stand, lets pray for the victims of this latest event and reclaim the flag as something we can be proud of, not allowing the villains to discolor it and nor the media to change its meaning.