To Uphold, Protect, And Defend…

Posted May 21st, 2016 by Iron Mike

In the beginning they are just kids,…and most have never studied – or even read – the Constitution they are swearing an oath to….
New Soldiers
…and within hours they begin to be transformed….

Bayonette course

Crusty sergeants scare the crap out of them,  run their young butts off,  run them through obstacle courses,  rifle ranges,  gas chambers,  and chow lines….

…cull out the total misfits….

BCT Photo

and graduate the rest as basic soldiers….to go on to learn specific skills…

Rigger school

While NCOs stress procedures, perfection, danger and safety….

Mechanic School

And then the young soldier reports to his / her first TO&E unit – his first real ‘home’. – the unit he is expected to ~ maybe ~ have to go to combat with…

New Family

…and the boy becomes the man….and comes to realize there is precious little ‘glory’ or ‘glamour’ in soldering. 

It’s mostly hard, boring, repetitive, unseen and thankless work, where uniforms are stained, torn, and worn thin, and blisters grow into callouses.

The young man / young woman may decide to get out after their first hitch, – or “stay for twenty”,…a few even longer….

Senior NCOs

…and if they do,…they slowly morph into NCOs – the ‘backbone’ of our services,  the men and women within whom all knowledge and experience lives,  and is handed on to the next generation of stupid wide-eyed kids being handed their first boots and first duffel bags.

Initial Issue

They also learn that along with fleeting moments of thrills,  excitement and ‘glory’ – come hours and days of loneliness,  tears,  and the bitter pain of lost friends – whether to combat or traffic accidents.


Only the lucky survive to retire,…and we who have live with vivid memories of better, smarter, stronger, and braver men who didn’t.


You want to thank a soldier?

Don’t buy us a drink or a meal;….find a teenager still in high school, – and start teaching them HISTORY! The schools aren’t teaching it anymore – on purpose – and if our Young Republic is to survive,  – we’ll need voters and leaders who understand cause and effect,  – and unintended consequences!

And PLEASE,  – on November 8th,…give these young heroes a new Commander-in-Chief worthy of their service,  their sacrifice,  and their quiet valor.

9 Responses to “To Uphold, Protect, And Defend…”

  1. Clinton MA TEA Party

    Semper fi

  2. John Pagel

    THANK YOU for this. Beautiful


  3. Tina

    What a wonderful tribute to our armed forces. Thank you for your service, Mike.

    And a huge thank you to all our men and women in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard — and their families. They sacrifice so much for our country.

    May our Heavenly Father bless them all in a mighty way today, and always.

  4. Walter Knight

    I remember arriving on a bus in the middle of the night at Fort Polk, and hearing what sounded like a hundred typewriters processing my papers. We were so disappointed when we found out the noise was just dehumidifiers straining against ninety degree heat and ninety degree temperatures.

  5. John O'Mara

    Thank you, Iron Mike.

    Regarding November … We’re going to win big … and in the
    longer run Donald Trump will prove to be a HUGE success and a pleasant surprise for many skeptics.

  6. Vince Picarello

    Good job Mike. Thank you for your service.

  7. #blackgunsmatter

    Iron Mike,

    Excellent words, photos and thoughts. Many of us can relate. I agree that we need to defeat Hillary and turn this Country around. We now have the Kenyan going to Hiroshima soon… Will he apologize for the bomb? Who the hell knows? What a disgrace. He’s going there around the Memorial Day weekend, which is very troubling in my opinion.

  8. Panther 6

    ALL: I have had the pleasure recently, APR and again in MAY, of being at the National Infantry Museum Book Store for the graduation of 5 different Infantry Basic Training Companies. What a glory pill, great young troops and obviously proud of their accomplishment. Our trainers are turning out first rate soldiers. God Bless them.

  9. MCY411

    Professionally and Respectfully done — in true AIRBORNE fashion. Thank you Mike.