This video/slideshow is my tribute to Senator Barack Obama, the 2008 Democratic Party's Presumptive Nominee for President.
If elected, Senator Obama will become the 16th President who "did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform." (Quote: Senator John McCain)
The performance of those 16 Presidents however, and, in light of the performance of the current President(George Bush), should leave even the most pessimistic pessimist very optimistic about his likelihood of capably performing the duties of the high office for which he seeks...
(Senator Obama's white grandfather served in Patton's Army in World WarII)
As for Senator McCain's recent comment that Senator Obama is not in a position to "lecture" him on the retention of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) "the backbone of the military", I personally, a former NCO, who currently has a family member serving in the Officer Corps in Iraq on a second tour, will indeed "lecture" you, Senator McCain, in Senator Obama's stead:
If America asks the ultimate sacrifice of its young men and women in uniform, then America should give as generously as she possibly can so that America's young men and women, its future, who have not yet educated themselves, can do so, thereby ensuring America's long-term global competitiveness.
And the NCO Corps?
Those uncommonly talented, gifted and highly skilled individuals, leaders, who are identified early, mentored, cared for, trained, supported, and given the resources necessary to successfully complete the missions assigned to them, will, almost counter-intuitively, make career decisions to become NCO's, provided that incentives, such as promotions, signing bonuses, training, leadership schools, assignment choices, awards and decorations, health and dental care, family support services and mental care is met in a timely, expeditious manner.
A generous GI Bill may indeed entice a servicemember to not choose to be a career NCO, thereby hurting retention. Yet, in the long run, a young man or woman who has found the military lacking as a career choice after an initial enlistment should be honored by finding America willing to show concern for his/her future well-being as a veteran and citizen of a country for whom s/he stood in harm's way to protect and defend, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, with his/her very life, if need be...
To do any less for these Heroes, these Patriots, would be hypocritical, a desecration of a sacred pact, and an abomination to all for which America stands for...
Returning now to my previous point, who are the 15 Presidents (before Barack Obama) who were elected "that did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform?"
Great men, great leaders, one and all, among them:
1. John Adams
2. Thomas Jefferson
3. James Madison
4. John Quincy Adams
5. Martin Van Buren
6. James Polk
7. Millard Fillmore
8. Grover Cleveland
9. William Howard Taft
10. Woodrow Wilson
11. Warren G. Harding
12. Calvin Coolidge
13. Herbert Hoover
14. Franklin D. Roosevelt
15. William Jefferson Clinton
"The American Presidency - Profiles"
Finally, the tune is "Hail to the Chief", sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I play this specific tune knowingly in order to honor Senator Obama's sterling and truly inspiring accomplishments to the present date (irrespective of the final outcome) in pursuit of the highest office in the land, an office which heretofore has never been occupied by any man or woman of African-American descent, namely, the Presidency of the United States of America...
Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.
Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!