By Bob Anderson, PhD, CMSgt. (Ret.)

What are we fighting for?

Recently, our nation celebrated Independence Day.  It seems to me that the activities are smaller this year for some reason and the sense of the holiday is more recreational and not focused on what the Fourth of July is really all about.  That disappoints me.

In the months since I returned from Iraq, I’ve noticed some significant changes in the attitude of our citizens and in the actions of our elected officials.  I have to admit I’m at a loss to understand or explain this.

The devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita had significant impact in the area that I and many of my family members live in.  The ripples from these two events continue today and will for the foreseeable future.  Houston, where Pam and I live, continues to struggle with the refugees and the issues that were created with the various evacuations.

The illegal immigrant issue dominates national and local news and has become the staple of talk radio. 

There seems to be more focus on soccer than there is on the War against Terrorism. 

 Members of our Senate and House of Representations want a published deadline for withdrawal from Iraq.  That just tells the bad guys how long they have to hold out or hide before we leave Iraq.

Governmental and media pundits are calling for the heads of Marines involved in deadly operations—before there is evidence of crimes.

 North Korea has test fired seven missiles and Iran has basically told us to pound sand over their nuclear program.

Recently, more than thirty Senators voted AGAINST making English our national language.  I just don’t understand this.  Around two hundred years ago, we settled the question of our national language.  English was selected over German, by only a single vote.

The Supreme Court recently announced that the President overstepped his authority on detainees at Gitmo. Every war that has ever been fought has allowed for prisoners to be detained and questioned as part of the war effort.  Currently, the detainees at Gitmo and other locations are treated far better than any of their predecessors.  It’s the military member that is guarding them that is in danger.

The Editor of the New York Times has decided that our government, in a time of war—should have no expectation of secrecy—even if the loss of secrecy endangers our troops in the field and jeopardizes the mission.  The ability of an administration to wage operations—approved and sanctioned operations, with a consideration of operational security (military talk for secrecy) is essential to the success of those operations. 

During World War II the concept that “Loose lips sink ships” was obvious.  Unbridled oversight coupled with indiscriminate information compromises the safety of our people in the field and the security of this country.

Opinions are like noses; everyone has one and all of them smell.  Here is my opinion:

Many of our elected representatives are failing in their most basic duty—to represent the citizens that elected them.  The operative phrase here is citizens.

Our news media is no longer reporting news; they are creating it for the benefits of ratings—not to inform our citizenry.

We have laws that deal with immigration that have been categorically ignored for years.  Enforce them, even if Mexico doesn’t like it.

I don’t believe our citizens are lazy and will not do certain jobs.  If that is true in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, how does the rest of the country accomplish anything without the use of illegals?

The correct term is “illegals”—they are undocumented because they ILLEGALLY entered this country for Pete’s sake.

The government cannot protect individuals who fail to participate in or plan for their own survival.

Our military members watch the same news stories that citizens in this country watch every evening.  They are watching what we do over here and many just shake their heads in disbelief.  What are we fighting for? 

The rights of our citizens to deal with, discuss and share their opinions about what is going on in our country.

The right to elect our own representatives.

The right to “UN-ELECT” those individuals that abuse their office and the public trust. 

The right to “UN-ELECT” those individuals who have chosen to no longer represent them and accurately be their voice. 

The right to provide a safe haven to people who have escaped tyranny, who welcome them and only ask that they follow our laws as they try to come here and after they are here. 

The right not to buy certain newspapers and listen to certain reporters when they start making news instead of reporting it.

We are fighting for the right to question, and more importantly to expound our opinions. 

Independence Day.  Our country, the United States of America, is one of only few countries in the world that this is possible.  These rights, and many more, were won for us by brave men and women with great courage and foresight.  These rights have been defended by men and women with bravery and dedication for over two hundred years.  I hope that on the Fourth of July, you pondered your rights and those who sacrificed everything to make them possible; as this my friends is the essence of What We Are Fighting For.

God Bless our Troops and God Bless America!

About Bob Anderson, PhD, CMSgt. (Ret.)

Bob Anderson recently retired from the military after 32 years of honorable service with the Air Force.  He is now focusing his time on his company, Back To Basics International, a professional speaking and training organization.  Bob’s greatest passion is speaking to audiences and inspiring them to excel.

Earlier this year, he returned from a deployment in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  While there, he was responsible for two law enforcement detachments and 32 Military Working Dog Teams. His 221 person squadron was scattered among 21 different locations throughout Iraq.  He traveled to all of these locations while there, which was over 6000 miles. He was honored by receiving the Bronze Star Medal for distinguished service while in Iraq.

To contact Bob Anderson, please do so through his website atwww.BackToBasicsInternational.com.

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