Many of you know how my brain thinks, how I act, and the things I believe in. But believe it or not, I do love more than just America. My life has revolved around a speech given by one of the United States’s greatest Generals, Douglas Macarthur. His speech, titled, “Duty. Honor. Country.,” was given to the Corps of Cadets at The United States Military Academy at West Point on May 12th, 1962 as a farewell speech. Digging through all the famous quotes by America’s greatest military officers was a daunting task, but I knew from the beginning which quote I would be using. Short, simple, powerful. In his famous speech, Macarthur opens with, “Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” The way Macarthur utilized these words in his speech at the United States Military Academy is how I interpret these words myself and use them as my true north, my ultimate guide to success.
I believe in Duty. I believe in the duty you have to be the best possible version of yourself. The duty to make YOU happy and to achieve whatever goal you desire to achieve. When you hit a roadblock in life, what are you going to do? Are you going to just wait for the road to clear, or turn around and drive home? Or are you going to stand up, and push through the mud, tunnel visioned on greatness? Even in times of struggle, you have the duty to yourself to persevere, and to NEVER quit. On the morning practice days, the default iPhone alarm at 5am is not the most pleasant thing. But when I turn off my alarm and see the picture of me on my phone standing in front of a tank, when I get out of bed and see the American flag hanging on my wall, when I walk into my garage and see the second American flag hanging on the wall and the American flag sticker on the back window of my truck, I know why I am pushing for greatness. General Patton, another American hero, once said, “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” Life isn’t easy for anybody, no matter how successful you are. You are going to get beat down again, and again, and again. But IF you really respect yourself, you know that you have a duty to never give up, to never end the fight, no matter the difficulty. You have a duty to your family as well, to love and protect them, and always being there for them when they need you the most. You have the duty to recognize when your family needs you, to be able to do anything for them, even though it may not be what you want. Finally, the duty to your country. To vow to serve, love, and protect this great nation, while having complete utter faith and confidence along the way. Even if you may not agree with the actions of our nation at times, you have a duty as a citizen to at least care for those fighting for your rights. You don’t have to support their actions, but always support them. 22 veterans a day kill themselves due to PTSD and other illnesses. America’s citizens need to support and care for the true heros of our nation. Send a care package with little goodies once a month to a well known military base. Pay for a soldier's order at Starbucks if you see one in line. Switch seats with a serviceman or service woman on a plane if one is on board. It’s the simple things in life that go the farthest, and you as an American have a duty to support those who give you the freedom you are exercising at this very moment.
I believe in Honor. I believe in honoring yourself, always holding yourself to the highest standard and never to lose faith or love in yourself. You need to honor your morals and what you feel to be right. If you wouldn’t do something, then don’t do it. If you don’t believe in something, then don’t believe in it. When someone asks you, “Excuse me, what was your name?”, be honored to say who you are, because you should be proud of who you are. When people ask me, “Have you ever smoked or vaped?”, I am truly honored to say “No, and I don’t ever want to.” and not be a liar. Every high schooler has been in a situation where they had the chance to smoke or vape, but I honored my morals and never fell to the peer pressure. Some would say I’m too scared, some would call me scared to break mommy and daddy’s rules. But I would call myself strong, determined, and honorable. Next is honoring your family. Honor your family and the rules they have, honor your elders and thank them for all they have done for you, and do anything and everything to make the lives of your loved ones better than it was 60 seconds ago. Honoring your country is the third and final component to my meaning of honor. Stand at attention, without talking, and take off your hat during the National Anthem. Say “Thank you for your service.” when you see a soldier in public, if he or she is not busy at that moment. And above all, stand up to those who burn, step on, or disrespect the flag or anything that represents this nation. Because what those INCAPABLE DEGENERATES don’t understand, is that THEIR RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN THAT GIVES THEM THE FREEDOM TO DO SUCH AN ACT AND NOT BE THROWN IN JAIL FOR TREASON, IS EXACTLY WHAT THE AMERICAN SOLDIER IS FIGHTING, AND DYING FOR, TO UPHOLD.
Lasty, I believe in Country. I believe that people should believe in, love, and enjoy their country. It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything America does, or its leaders. I can’t fully express the disgust I have for Donald Trump, but I still love and care for this country whole-heartedly. It is the faith and devotion from a nation's citizens that allows a country to succeed. Another famous quote from General Patton that speaks to me is, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” War is never a happy time. It affects its citizens greatly and forces a reboot on the entire country. We will not be able to coexist with the enemy. We will not be able to solve our problems with words when the enemy is strapping bombs to children, throwing 284,000lbs of metal, fuel, and humans into buildings, and beheading other people like it’s the Chicago stockyards in the early 1900’s, trying to slaughter as much as possible, as many as possible. What happens when you are getting bullied and they never get punished? The bully never learns. Without standing up for what America believes in, for what each and every one of you believe in, without standing up for what’s right, without standing up to the bully, we WILL NOT SURVIVE. Even if we do challenge the devil, without the unity of our nation, we will still fail. But maybe, just maybe, if we join together, we will win. I believe it will only boost our chances to beat the monsters in the world. I believe it will improve our nation’s attitude. I believe it will open the eyes to Americans and make them rethink their decisions, and hopefully change them for the better. I believe in Duty. Honor. Country.