An American Soldier’s Reflection on Thanksgiving
Greetings everyone, and yes, Happy Thanksgiving! This is a special and blessed day when we gather in our homes with our loved ones to give thanks and count our blessings over a sumptuous meal. The tradition in the West family’s household is fried turkey and fried spiral ham. Hey, I am from down South, anything can be fried and made absolutely delicious. The first time I fried turkey for our family, that was it, no going back to baked turkey. And, so, we shall renew our tradition here, in our home, in Garland, Texas, as a family.
A truly special moment for me on Thanksgiving Day is my early morning run. It is then that I reflect back on my career active-duty soldier, on Thanksgiving. I remember those Thanksgiving days when I could not be with my family because I was deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan or stationed near the DMZ at Camp Casey Korea. It was those times, when I sat with my other family, my fellow brothers and sisters who were also deployed. There we were gathered in the respective “chow halls” — sorry I ain’t politically correct and never liked the dining facility moniker — eating our Thanksgiving meal. We all had that desire to be back home, but we all knew our task and purpose for being where we were.
We sat at our tables, laughed, and shared stories of what we thought our families would be doing on that day. I remember Thanksgiving in Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan and watching the soldiers from Romania taking pictures of the Thanksgiving feast . . . heck, the chow hall crew even did ice sculptures! You know what, y’all? Those Romanian troops could eat! And, it was heartwarming to hear them, and other foreign nation troops, wish us a Happy Thanksgiving. One of the best things was that we even got to invite some of our interpreters/translators to dine with us on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a uniquely American experience based upon the Pilgrims, who fled religious persecution in England, surviving a harsh winter in their new home, our home, the one we call America. We congregate on this day to remember our blessings.
That is what we were so proud of, as troops deployed, that we were safeguarding, defending the blessings of liberty and freedom for the longest-running Constitutional Republic the world has ever known. We had the opportunity to share this special day with others, and tell our stories of America over a great meal. As the Christian song goes, “Count Your Blessings,” and, so we did . . . and, at the end of the day, we hit the rack, and prepared to carry on with our mission. Some of those deployed were standing guard on remote outposts, or on patrol, yet, somehow, we always found a way to ensure they got a little taste of Thanksgiving.
This Thanksgiving, in 2020, we are all counting our blessings as this abominable year draws to a close. And, even this day, Thanksgiving, has come under a politicized assault.
I find it unconscionable that there are those — Jay Inslee, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, and Ralph Northam, all Democrat (Socialist) governors — who are making absurd declarations to restrict Thanksgiving. To tell any American family who they can have within their own home on this special day of giving thanks and remembering our blessings is beyond perplexing, it is tyrannical. For someone such as Gov. Northam to believe he can guilt-trip people into believing that restricting their Thanksgiving is an “act of love” reaches a level of absurdity that no one would believe.
Ask yourselves: is this really what our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen are proud to defend as they are separated from their families this Thanksgiving? How have we devolved into the acceptance of a complete and utter disrespect of our private property rights, when government officials are under the delusion that they can mandate the activities within our very homes?
Not just that, but consider the words of one Democrat running for US Senate in the State of Georgia who stated that our men and women in uniform can’t serve God and serve the military. These words are so offensive, it is beyond belief. How does that make our men and women in uniform — deployed and away from their families — feel as they sit and thank God for the simple blessing of the meal they and their survival?
As a retired US Army veteran living in Texas, I can attest that I am not thankful for the nearly 5.2 million Texans who voted to end our oil and gas industry, relegating us to foreign energy dependence. They voted to open our borders to illegal immigration. To defund our police. To allow for the rule of the mob on our streets. To murder unborn babies in the womb right up to birth. To end private health insurance. To take away our Second Amendment right to defend ourselves. To institute a socialist economic model for this State and our America.
They voted for a corrupt career politician who in 47 years of elected officialdom has only one legislative achievement . . . and that was to lock up young black men he referred to as “predators.”
I am not thankful for the people who voted for the Democrat ticket, because they voted against the very oath that I, members of my family, and many others took, which is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. The rule of law means nothing to them. They have told us, the Guardians of this Republic, that suppressing religious freedom, restricting free speech, curtailing freedom of expression, and denying the right to peaceably assemble are only acceptable based upon their progressive socialist ideological agenda. They have shown us that they are willing to use fear, intimidation, coercion, threats, and violence to achieve your deranged and destructive ends.
They say that there are things you cannot discuss at the Thanksgiving table. Maybe if we go back to what those men and women throughout our history have fought for, and lost their lives to defend, and discuss that at the Thanksgiving table we would not be in this precarious situation for the future of our Republic.
Yes, I am one of those who clings to his guns and religion. Yes, I am one of those who stood guard upon the ramparts of freedom. Yes, I am an American — Georgian by birth, Texan by choice — and dedicated to preserving our individual rights, freedoms, and liberties. I will always discuss this at our Thanksgiving table . . . the question is, will you?
If you choose not to, then perhaps one day, this nation will be ruled by those who are telling us who and how many we can have in our homes for Thanksgiving. Remember that one of Karl Marx’s planks in his Communist Manifesto was the abolishment of private property rights . . . and, it is also part of this “Great Reset” dogma.
Fortunately, that will never happen because Americans will never be collectively subjugated to the wanton evil of progressive socialism, Marxism, statism, or communism.
Always remember: there is no Thanksgiving Day for Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, or Saudi Arabia. Sadly, there are Americans, Texans, who voted for the same type of governing philosophy that dominates those despotic regimes. So, I give thanks for true American patriots, defenders of liberty, and those men and women who are deployed, and not able to be with their families for Thanksgiving this year.
God’s blessings; Happy Thanksgiving!
Steadfast and Loyal,
LTC Allen B. West (Ret.)
Republican Party of Texas
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