The American soldiers differ from numerous other people and nations, where troops are used as pawns to be moved about without consideration. Americans either will not, or cannot, fight at a maximum efficiency unless they understand the ‘why and wherefore' of their orders. They will ask questions to meet the whereto and demands. In good order, they will function with confidence, efficiency, and go far beyond their capabilities in any battlefield.
Morale is born of loyalty and patriotism. It withstands shocks, disaster and tragedy of the battlefields, although it can be destroyed utterly by favoritism, neglect, or injustice. Meaning that it takes good or great leadership to command the best soldiers in the world, ‘the American soldier.'
In my lifetime, this nation has plowed through World War II, the Korean war, the Vietnam struggle, then a host of other small wars. Talk about battle fatigue or post traumatic stress syndrome! However, we are now engaged with the war on terrorism.
Unlike any other war, this is a war of vigilance, and alert to danger. It is bold and President George W. Bush has shifted the war to their back yard and their grounds, and has perhaps spared America from atrocities in our own ranks and back yard. Hang in there, stay with the team, you can adjust later, if you must.
Freedom is not free. These events have brought our American democracy to new influence and new responsibilities. They will test our courage, our devotion to duty, and our concept of liberty. To that end, we must, and will, devote our strength, our resources, and our firmness of resolve.
Our capitol's prayer room stays open all the time to legislators from both the House and Senate during session. President George Washington, in his farewell address, labeled religion and morality "a necessary spring of popular government." His kneeling figure in the stained glass window has around it the 16th Psalm's appeal: "Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust." With God's help, the future of mankind will be assured in a world of justice, harmony, and peace.
God bless America.
Lawrence D. Okendo, US Army Retired