As time passes following the town hall meeting with Congressman Rahall, I become increasingly disturbed. I am retired military, and my oath was not to defend this country nor any other American citizen. Rather my oath was to defend the Constitution. This oath reflects that our country is a republic and not a democracy. Of the two, only a republic is based upon the rule of law. The cornerstone of our law is the Constitution. It is not a guide. It is the law from which all other laws derive their power. The Constitution grants no rights as is commonly believed, rather assumes all our rights come from the Creator, as our founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence. Through the Constitution, we the people, loan certain of our rights to the federal government and through the Bill of Rights we restrict the federal government from infringing on those most precious. The 10th Amendment says that all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to us, the people, and our states, which means that the federal government can do only what the Constitution says it can do and nothing else.

I asked Congressman Rahall where the federal government is empowered by the Constitution to impose national health care. He had no answer, saying instead that if he were acting in an unconstitutional manner, the people could throw him out of office or Congress could impeach him. In other words, he does not see his oath to defend the Constitution as a matter of personal character, rather as a procedural inconvenience.

I, on the other hand, and millions of my brothers took the same allegiance and because we swore to God to protect the Constitution, we took the shores of Tripoli, braved the grapeshot at Gettysburg, suffered the blister gas in the Argonne, stepped over our dead brothers at Iwo Jima, suffered abuse from some of our fellow Americans upon returning from Vietnam, and overthrew a murderous tyrant in Iraq. It is amazing that we give our lives because we took an oath to defend the same Constitution that congressmen and senators see as only a political obstacle. Amazing that my life and all those who came before and since are worth less to many politicians than the simple effort of reading a bill and making sure it conforms to the same oath that he took.

Often when a politician thanks me for my service, I want to throw up. Congressman, you can thank me by following your oath of office rather than hiding behind what a constitutional lawyer has to say. What some lawyer had to say never came into the picture for those who were raked by machine gun fire on the beaches of Normandy.

Bob Gore

Lewisburg

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