Friday, April 1, 2016

America's Real Strength / #VietnamWar #ThisAmericanQuilt #EPluribusUnum #OneNationUnderGod

The mind and heart are not made to live in extremes, but thrives in the middle of everything.

Fifty years ago young American men and women, mostly of low-income and middle-class families were sent out to fight half-way across the globe to fight the spread of the forces of communism in Vietnam. In the aftermath,  thousands of our men paid the ultimate price with their lives. Many movies and plenty of historical analyses has come about from the 'Vietnam War' mulling over why the U.S. went in, if they should have gone in, why we stayed so long and what lessons could be learned from the entire experience. Almost sixty thousand U.S. soldiers are on record with having died in the war. Another seventy-five thousand were severely disabled and twenty five thousand were completely disabled. The total casualties of war, including civilian deaths and spanning beyond the American entrance and exit into the war totals between 3.1 and 3.9 million deaths, according to some estimates.

The freedom and rights we enjoy in America have a lot to do with the military strength and might that continues on day and night around the world. Many nation-states are kept at bay and on a friendly stance with us because our military forces dwarf the combined armed forces of all other countries put together. Simply put, there is no other 'superpower' like the United States of America. There is no other human-led force capable of coming near anywhere near in matching the fire-power or technological prowness inherent in our combined military forces. That is a fact. Moreover, our superiority in this arena continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This creates a doctrine of 'peace through strength.'

All said, our armed forces are made up of living and breathing men and women with real hearts and minds. The real strength of America is not in our attack submarines with the Trident missiles that patrol the globe ready at a moments notice to fire at will. Nor is our strength derived from all the military bases spread out across the earth, nor our Special Forces, our infantry, our fighter planes or our battleships. Our real strength is intangible. It goes beyond morality and doing the right thing.

Our real strength comes from a strong belief that we are one nation of many different kinds of people under God and that by surrendering our will to the will of God we cannot go wrong for long, but are brought again and again to the middle road. In surrendering our military power and wills to God (as it says on our coins) to dominate for the sake of dominating we lay down our weapons for something greater than ourselves, regardless of our religion. We are 'one nation, under God.'

So it is that a soldier may not be aware of all the reasons we go to war at times and it is possible that sometimes some of our leaders make mistakes which temporarily  mislead the country for a time, even bringing us into conflict for the wrong reasons. Yet still, America's ship has an uncanny ability
of righting its course back onto the middle course over and over again. It is as if the hearts and minds of the people are governed by an internal compass the beats alive with a strong pulse. This goes beyond doing the right thing. It is a strong belief that God is with us. We are a country that has opened its doors to every other country allowing their people to come to our land and assimilate to our common ideals. This action defuses people and empowers us from the inside out. Our armed forces fight valiantly then. Their sacrifices rise higher than the immediate reasons for a specific war because of what we stand for. This, the ability to rule with physical strength AND spiritual strength is what allows America to master as a whole the ability to be both soft and hard.

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