Service to country can take many forms

Guest written by Dr. Russ Hall
President of the River Valley chapter of the Military Officers Association of America

This short essay is being written by a person that loves this country more than anywhere else on this earth. After graduating from ATU, I served seven years in the Air Force as a pilot. A total of 21 months of my Air Force time was spent in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. I’ve seen lots of foreign lands and this is the place I choose to call home. Therefore, I speak only of my personal feelings and experiences.

The United States was founded on the principle of freedom. Yes, we have our problems just like all the nations of this world. But I feel so lucky to be living here and to be a citizen of the USA. You can disagree with the establishment. You can believe in a different religion. You can run for a political office even though you might not be qualified. Folks, there’s not many places on this earth that can provide you with all these freedoms.

The freedoms that we share have been provided to us by those that sacrificed their blood and lives for you and their country. Freedom definitely comes with a very high price tag. As a citizen of the USA, what have you done to preserve these foundations that our forefathers provided for us? I realize that the military isn’t for everyone. In fact, only three percent of the American public belong to one of the military organizations. There’s nothing more important than one person willing to lay down his life for another, our police and firefighters do this every day, but there are many ways to serve your country and fellow man other than the military or emergency services. In my case, I chose the Air Force and, later, provided health care through chiropractic services. Volunteering to help the less fortunate is another way. Whatever you do must be a sacrifice for the better good.

Every American citizen should feel the need to provide a service to their country. We should all want to give back to those that have sacrificed for us and our loved ones. I did not retire from the military but do not regret spending seven years of my life serving my country. It just so happened that this phase of my life occurred during the Vietnam era. My only personal regret was that I had a three-year-old that didn’t know me and I didn’t know her. Would I change the past? Absolutely not. That time served in the Air Force was but one factor in making me what I am today. The key to growth in your life is sacrifice. No one owes you anything. In reality, we owe a deep debt of gratitude to all that have sacrificed for us and our country. So if you haven’t served in any way, it’s time for you to step up.

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Category: On a Personal Note

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