The United States of America was founded on the ideals of Freedom, Liberty and Independence. Let me write that again, so you have a second chance to really read it. The United States of America was founded on the ideals of Freedom, Liberty and Independence. With the people of America living their lives with the idea they can think how they want to think and do what they want to do and have any opinion they want to have and worship any god they want to worship and be as unique as they want to be… how exactly are we to be united?
Freedom is the direct cause of our country being incapable of unity. How can we call ourselves the United States of America and preach freedom and independence, when freedom and independence are antonyms of unity? Examples of this flaw are displayed on the playgrounds of America every day. Does this sound familiar: “You can’t do that!” “It’s a free country and I’ll do what I want!” No chance of these two kids uniting for a common purpose will exist in their near future.
When I took my Oath of Enlistment, I did so with the idea I would be fighting for freedom. Our freedom is what allows different groups to form across the Nation. Groups with their own ideas of what is right and wrong or who is better than someone else.
Allah vs. God Pro-life vs. Pro-choice Gay Marriage vs. Straight Marriage Pro-guns vs. Anti-guns Legalize It vs. Ban It War vs. Peace Black vs. White Democrats vs. Republicans Liberals vs. Conservatives Dogs vs. Cats Raiders vs Chargers Vampires vs. Werewolves.
The above listed bouts do not only find themselves in a controlled forum or friendly debate; they spill out to the streets of America and produce hate and bitterness and resentment and disgust amongst the people. This dangerous variety of morals and ideals cause separation amongst the people of these United States and is spawned from freedom and independence.
Today, I realize I was fighting for something else. I realize something greater provides the foundation of America. What I fought for and what I continue to fight for, is Love. Americans are a strange breed. We will argue and we will fight and we are as dysfunctional as a country can be. But when we need to, we will band together and help our fellow man. When a disaster occurs and Americans rush to donate blood, they do not do so with the intent of their blood only saving the life of a Heterosexual White Christian that exercises his/her right to carry a firearm. They do so with the intent of their blood saving the life of another human being. When the Towers fell in September, the people of America banded together and took action to help, regardless of anyone’s political affiliation, what god they prayed to or what recreational drugs they used. When people jumped from the top floors, our hearts felt pain because of the love we have for another. We did not see a Mexican or a Jew falling from the Tower. We saw a person and we cried for them. We felt rage and wanted to avenge them. Not because of freedom or independence… because of Love.
I am a United States Marine Corps Infantryman Combat Veteran. I have experienced the horrors of war and I have served my time in Hell. And I will stand before the masses and shout with my booming voice that there is only one thing worth fighting for. One thing that is guaranteed to UNITE a diverse group of people. LOVE.
Now, three things remain. Not freedom, liberty and independence. Faith, hope and love… and the greatest of all is love.
Andrew R. Jones is a Marine Corps combat veteran enduring the struggles of Post-Traumatic Stress and a mild Traumatic Brain Injury suffered from a blast in the Battle of Baghdad 2003. He participated in combat operations with the 1st Marine Division in An Nasiriyah, Al Gharraf, Al Fajr and Baghdad during the initial invasion of Iraq. He utilizes writing as a therapeutic tool to combat the memories and nightmares that have plagued him since returning home. He hopes to find peace within his heart and prays for the ability to motivate others to heal as well.
Andrew is published in Outrageous Fortune, Canyon Voices, Veteran’s Writing Project, International War Veterans Poetry Archives, The Traveler and The Blue Guitar. He is also the Author of Healing the Warrior Heart, an anthology of poems and short stories focused on the struggles of post-war life for veterans and their families. He plans to open a faith based veteran’s healing program in Arizona with his wife and is dedicated to being an advocate for bringing warriors and civilians together to promote a more peaceful generation in America. More information can be found at Healing the Warrior Heart.