Continuing To Serve Our Country
By JAMES H. OFFUTT, Navy League National President
Men and women have chosen to serve our country since
before its inception. They chose to
fight for freedom, tolerance, liberty, equality and security. They continue to fight today, serving in
many capacities at the national,
state and local levels, and by serving in the armed forces.
Now, as then, men and women
continue to put their lives on the
line to guarantee a way of life that
we cherish and are committed to
maintaining. Those choosing to
serve in the armed forces of the
United States are willing to look
beyond their own needs and put
their lives on the line for safety, security and prosperity
of this great nation. They have vowed to be ready
guardians of peace, always loyal, always ready. It is a
testament to our country that so many are so committed to serve whenever and wherever needed.
Retired Army Gen. Colin Powell, former chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, has
noted that there is a special bond among the men and
women who serve our country. They learn that they
must depend upon and trust one another to do their
job when called upon, regardless of the circumstances
or the hardships involved.
Our fighting men and women need our support. As
Americans, it is our responsibility to elect responsible
officials who will provide the resources needed for our
service personnel to accomplish their mission. These
officials need to understand the value of open sea lanes
so that the goods and supplies we want to buy and sell
can flow throughout our global community. There are
diplomatic and military reasons to have offshore
forces. It takes the forward presence of our maritime
services to ensure this.
Providing support is why the Navy League exists.
We directly contribute to the morale and welfare of
active-duty personnel and their families through
many activities run by our councils. We produce
materials to educate the American people and our
elected representatives about the importance of maintaining strong sea services.
Where do we find the people we
need to continue this support?
Many of us are former service
members. We feel the connection
to those who have taken our
places. Many of us have never
served on active duty but now
serve by supporting our active-duty men and women and their
families. There is so much that can
be done to make life better for
those who go in harm’s way.
The Navy League has three missions: to enhance the morale of
active-duty personnel and their
families; to inform Congress and
the American public on the importance of strong sea services; and to support youth
through programs such as the Naval Sea Cadet Corps,
Junior ROTC and Young Marines that expose young
people to the values of our sea services.
Our problem is finding the human and financial
resources to do all that might be done. On the human
side, we need people to join us in our mission. I ask
you to ask your friends and neighbors to serve with us.
I ask those of you who are transitioning from a sea
service to join us. We have meaningful projects that
need your expertise and insight.
Another way you can help us accomplish our mission is to consider contributing to the Navy League.
Federal employees can designate #58495 to make a
donation to the Navy League during the Combined
Federal Campaign. You also can join me in becoming a
member of the President’s Circle ( www.navyleague.org/
corporate/donate/ presidents_circle.html) and/or participating in our planned giving program as a member
of the 1902 Society ( www.navyleague.org/1902).
The Navy League — Trusted Partner of the Sea Services