Thursday, June 30, 2011

Open Letter to Our Patriots

The article below as submitted by Bro. Michael Donahue of Susquehanna Chapter.

(This article is written in memory of all those who are currently or have served proudly in our countries military, and in honor of those who died in defense of the USA.)

During graduation at my school we honor the students that will be attending a college, trade school, joining the work force, and joining the military. Out of the roughly 270 kids in my class only seven are enlisting. My class was the first class in a long time to have less than ten students. This shocked me since patriotism is one of the Precepts that I feel strongly about. It is also close to my heart as out three of those seven young people were my best friends. Two chose to enlist in the US Army and the other in the US Air Force. A fourth was my cousin, who chose the US Marine Corps, and another was my friends girlfriend, who joined the PA National Guard. Patriotism is also close to my heart because my grandfather served in World War 2, and I had three cousins fight in Vietnam and one of which never returned home.

It seems to me that outside of Demolay, patriotism is not as strong as it was in the past. I know more members in Demolay that have given military service than outside of the fraternity. Now, am I saying to run to your nearest recruiting office and join the military? Of course not. Joining is one of the biggest and toughest decisions somebody can make. Even I struggle with this problem! I am currently signed up for classes with the US Air Force ROTC detachment 752 out of Wilkes University,  with hopes of becoming an officer in fouryears. Susquehanna Chapter is proud to have Shawn Bookwalter, PMC and his brother who are members of the Army ROTC detachment at Wilkes. Their youngest brother just shipped out for basic training  on June 21, and another member who is stationed in Italy with the US Navy. How is it that out of a chapter with a little over thirty members we have nearly the same numbers of service members than my class of 270? Some join for different reasons; love of country, sounds fun, see the world, or money for college. Mine was a mixture of three things - a childhood dream, love of country, and feeling like it was a way for me to remain faithful to the Order and its Precepts, specifically the seventh candle, Patriotism .


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