“The U.S. Military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they’re protecting us.”
Last Sunday, I bid farewell to the Detroit-based European Command reserve unit to which I’ve been assigned for the past 18 months. As I looked out into the room during our final muster of the drill weekend, I was struck – as I have been on many occasions in various reserve units and on deployment in Iraq – by the faces looking back at me: men and women of all races; young people just out of high school and more seasoned sailors who’ve seen combat in the wars of the past 15 years; patriotic Americans, all.
I reminded my shipmates that today less than one-half of one percent of the country’s population steps forward to do what they do – serve in an all-volunteer force that dons the cloth of our Nation, trains for armed conflict, and deploys when directed, putting their lives in harm’s way to defend the United States, our allies, and the principles we hold dear.
Where do we find such people? As we have from the time patriots gathered on the Lexington Green and at the Old North Bridge in Concord to the modern-day distant battlefields in the Global War on Terrorism, we find them all across our great land. From big cities, small towns, and family farms, they answer the call of our Nation and respond to the universal desire for freedom that is in every human heart.
As I prepare to become the executive officer of a reserve unit supporting Pacific Fleet in Fort Worth, Texas, I know I’ll find them again there – patriots ready now and ever to carry out on behalf of a grateful Nation the words of Alexander Hamilton, “There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.”
On behalf of the National Council, I offer our gratitude to each brother of Phi Kappa Tau who has served or currently serves in the Armed Forces of the United States. We are in your debt. And for all of our other brothers and associate members, I encourage you on this day – and each day when you happen to encounter a veteran – to thank “him who shall have borne the battle” and truly carried out the words of our Creed, “I shall be a good and loyal citizen.”
Very respectfully and fraternally,
Michael D. Dovilla, Baldwin Wallace ’94
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy
National President, Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity