By Command Sgt Major J D Pendry USA-Ret. 
How is your hyphenated identity these days? Some, at least those who constantly prattle on about it, long ago left America. From many comes one? Instead, from one we have become a hodge-podge of many identities. Each vying for prominence ahead of Americanism. Each demanding what is owed it.
The great melting pot brewed a special blend of people. They made up a strong nation able to defeat powerful enemies to preserve freedom and achieve greatness in things that other nations barely dream of achieving. It was a great nation able to overcome its own shortcomings, but now it is filled with hate-mongers who refuse to leave the past. Not much different in that regard from the Islamists who still want to kill Christians because of the Crusades.
The melting pot tipped over. Out spilled its separate, but formerly well-blended ingredients that now threaten to smother the fire of freedom. Each component of the American stew it seems now expects special treatment because of who they view themselves to be – something other than American. They have simply forgotten that it is because of America that they have the precious freedom to express themselves openly without fear of oppression.
Instead of looking at ourselves as Americans, we preface our identities with our ancestral nation of origin, our race, our religion and even our sexual lifestyle choice. Each identity demanding what it is owed – by America.
It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the owed mentality. There are many Americans like me. In my youth, economically, I was among the poorest of the poor. All I ever did in the land of opportunity was work. I was earning money when I was fourteen years-old going door to door selling newspaper subscriptions. When I was sixteen, I went to work full time in a factory. When I was eighteen I enlisted into the Army. On a personal level, no one owes me a doggoned thing. Nothing! God blessed me with birth in this nation and because of that I was able to better my lot in life. He placed me here and gave me the freedom to choose my path, preferably the one He placed before me. I am where I am because of the choices I made in this life, not because someone else made choices for me or gave me preferential treatment.
What I am owed is what each American is owed.
I am owed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I am owed a government led by honorable people who will staunchly defend my freedom and the Constitution that sets the foundation for our representative republic and guarantees my freedom.
I am owed an equal chance and not a guarantee of an equal outcome.
I am owed a government ran by servants of the people who come, serve, and then go back home. Not those who come, stay, and believe that it is they who should be served by me.
I am owed a government that will not squander our national wealth on crony influenced boondoggles.
I am owed a justice system that blindly delivers justice.
I am owed a government that does not meddle in my personal life. A government that knows it has more important work than deciding my food choices, soft drink size and health care choices.
I am owed a government that places the security of our nation above politics.
That is not a long list of what I am owed and on Election Day I stand ready to collect.
Our choice is a simple one. We can right the American stew pot and become once again a nation of All-Americans or we can continue on the pity-party you owe me path to utopian hell and the destruction of the greatest nation God ever allowed to exist.
God blessed us. May we not squander his blessings?



   
  
  
J.D. is entitled to wear stars and numerals indicating multiple awards of several of the ribbons shown. The webmaster has so far been unable to obtain suitable artwork.
CSM Pendry, J. D.U. S. Army 1971-1999