Hard at work here in New York with 4 time combat vet Sgt. Dean J. Sanchez, USMC, we’ve enjoyed several days of balmy, Fall weather as backdrop to our work, preparing for tomorrow’s exclusive Kicking Back and material to come. It hardly seems possible that over a year has passed since we met in Denver during my tenure there with PUMA. In that year, he returned to South Asia and I learned much and changed my mind about a great many things I once believed immutable and sacred:
Our election laws;
Our media Amendment rights;
Integrity & Accountability of our congress & Government
Sgt. Sanchez returned from South Helmand and his 4th tour of combat duty in September and kindly agreed to spend some time with me to assist in getting a firsthand report on some of the things that most concern so many Americans:
The Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan and the differences between them; Rules of Engagement and their impact on the safety of our troops, Media coverage, What changes have occurred in the Military since 2003
Over the course of our ongoing conversations, Sgt. Sanchez continues to inspire me, sharpen my skills as a writer and as a person and remind me once again–as if I needed reminding–how many incredibly strong, bright and committed people there are in this world at a time when it can be all too easy to lose faith in ones’ fellow human beings. He brings to the table not only his years of combat duty but a keen mind, an extraordinary personal journey and a degree in Criminal Justice.
His views, in my opinion, reflect the best of what America has to offer: intellect honed with on the ground experience, fired by strong background knowledge of our Constitution and our history and tempered by the kind of resourcefulness, committment and individuality that has made our country the great model for independence and personal accomplishment that it has become.
In countless interviews with foreign press, I have time and again asked them just why the rest of the world continues to watch our every move with respect to our politics, our Constitutional issues and foreign policy. The answer is always the same, and always succinct: it is because it is our Constitution upon which every free nation’s Constitution is based; and they watch with baited breath to see how we will handle our challenges, for if America’s Republic falls, they see no way for theirs to survive.
While there are myriad reasons for a Republic to fall–and, indeed, historically, no republic has survived for more than 250 years–there are myriad reasons for ours to continue despite the serious challenges we now face. From the Fed to constant challenges to our Constitution, the threat of serious demoralization both to our military and our People, America and Americans have something that few, if any, other republics have ever had: some call it Attitude; others tenacity, but all would agree that those who would seek to destroy us are ignorant of the singularly major factor that will determine our longevity as a Republic: WE…ARE…AMERICANS, and there are a LOT more of US than there are of THEM. And if we all remember that and work together, we shall prevail, now and always.
2/8 CO. G. Infantry Assaultmen Camp Leatherneck May 2009
Until tonight ~
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