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The Proud Ones

Updated on November 1, 2018

By: Wayne Brown

They come from Small Town America and Big City USA. Every shape and conceivable size, color, and creed. They come unknowing for the most part of what they are about to embark upon. Some are here because they could not wait to do it. Others are here on the basis of tradition. For some, it’s the end of the line in a long job search. They have about as much in common as all other Americans have with one other, except for today. Today they will hold up their right hand and take the oath to defend their country against all enemies both foreign and domestic. Today, they will embark on a journey that will make all of them members of the United States Military. At some point after their service has began, they will graduate to proud members of the U S Military.

Some will be trembling a bit inside; somewhat fearful of what lies ahead, the unknown. Some will be aware of what is about to take place and will question whether they have what it takes to accomplish the task and complete it successfully. A few will be giddy with excitement wanting to get the training part over with so they can get to the field of battle and engage. These are the ones who they called ‘gung-ho’. Some of them will remain as such, many of them will bump into reality and settle into a more realistic mindset.

Basic training consists of a lot of things; important things that create a soldier out of a young man. But before all that can happen, a very important process must take place. It is called a lot of things in the various branches of the military but generally it is the breaking down of the civilian who has arrived for this training. He or she will be emotionally and psychologically broken down and disassembled. Beliefs and habits will be discarded. Loner mentalities will be removed. This will disappear along with the hair, the saunter in the walk, the grin on the face, and the attitude of not bowing down to anyone or anything. All these things will slowly go away in the training process and will be replaced by concepts such as respect, obedience, discipline, team effort, appreciation of one’s peers, military standards, and military technical knowledge.

Each individual will be put into situations they have never encountered before in life. They will learn how much they can depend on themselves and how much they must depend on others if the mission is to be accomplished and the least casualties are suffered. They will run until they cannot run anymore and then they will run some more. They will crawl in the mud, under razor-edged wire, amid explosives and chaos. They will be shot at and gassed. In each situation, they will learn to create they own self-discipline to the procedures and operations which are designed to keep them alive on the battlefield. They will learn the ability to control their fears even though they are well aware of them and continue to function when they are surrounded by chaos.

Some where during this training process each of them will confront their own fears and evaluate their personal abilities. They will become aware of their limits both mentally and physically. There will be times when each one considers quitting as the task becomes progressive more difficult. Some will quit, many will want to but will stay because they have found enough within themselves to know they can make it through. They want to make it through this process.

The weeks involved in turning a man into a soldier go by very slowly for the recruit. At times, it seems the clock is standing still. Then one day, each one of them begins to feel at home in this environment. They have difficulty remembering their past life because they are so focused on the one at hand. Time goes by incredibly slow and seems to multiply the agony of the training. The early morning get-ups, the long marches, the military decorum. All take up space in an orderly manner in each of their brains. All of them become a little bit more of a soldier as each minute of each day passes.

Finally, it reaches the end. Graduation day from basic training arrives. The soldiers rise early and go about the task of preparing for the grand event. They are glad it is here. They are glad to be a part of it. They are glad they have made it. Each will put on his or her uniform and dress as impeccably as they possibly can with each piece of brass polished and the shoes shined like a mirror. There be family members sitting in the stands to watch this proud event. They have come here from all points in America. Some have served their country already and are here because they are so proud their son or daughter will have that experience. Some are younger brothers and sisters who will look upon the marching and military ritual with wonderment and awe. It will be something they will never forget.

As the young soldiers march proudly past the reviewing stands each rendering a present arms salute to the commander and the country he represents. Each one marches proudly and each one celebrates mentally the accomplishment they have achieved. Today they are all soldiers in the United States Military. Today they are brothers in arms. Today they are one. And today, they are proud to serve in a way they could not imagine when they first recited the oath.

God Bless The Men and Women Who Proudly Serve In All Branches Of The United States Military. We are forever grateful for their dedication and their service. God Bless America.


© Copyright WBrown2010. All Rights Reserved.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Wayne Brown


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    • outdoorsguy profile image


      11 years ago from Tenn

      Some one ...

      The Constitution of the United States

      We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

      your refering to the oath We take joining the military.

      this is the oath I swore, and I was never absolved of that oath.

      I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

      note that no where in that oath does its say defend the Federal Government. we defend the people of the nation and the constitution. The constitution is greater than any politician or law. if the people decided to change the constitution they have that right and the ability. thru a constitutional convention.

      The Patriot act, does have the chance to be abused, and may have.

      but the Patriot Act is not Part of the Military Oath nor is it Part of the UCMJ. we do not take an oath to defend the patriot act. its up to the supreme court to decide if it violates the Constitution as a law. we have the ability to use our representatives to repeal it if we feel the need. but thats the system we live in.

      as for my views on Americans exercising their rights. fine and dandy by me.

      and using troops against American Citizens isnt likely unless armed insurrection occurs, or martial law is declared. of course in the Land of Fantays where Plots are seen around Every corner, the military is always seen as the bad guy.

      one day maybe those who think they are so smart and think the only threat in the world is from the US military will wake up to some threat or other and scream for the Military to save them. And it will. even though those who wear the Uniform know that they will never really be appreciated by that part of America. Thats part of the price for Believing in something Greater than your self, doing your duty and Defending your nation.

      we even defend the people who dont deserve it. becuase we can do no less in the world we live in.

      Duty, Honor, Devotion. Words we live by.

      what do you believe in Some one.. what do you believe in so strongly that you would lay down your life for it. family, Honor, Your nation, the homeless. what would you sacrifice a portion of your years or life for.

      A man or woman can only do their duty as they see it. and then do it with honor and Devotion.

      or you can sit and cast asperations at those who take a stand and do the best they can to uphold the Values that the American Constitution lays out.

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      11 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      outdoorsyguy We seem to forget,the constitution refers to enemies foreign and Domestic.Why is it we are willing to fight foriegn wars and yet when it comes to freedom in our own country we act like lemmings? What is your view on using the military against American citizens who are simply excersizing their constitutional rights? As I understand it the patriot act allows the president to arrest and hold anyone for an unlimited time without giving or proving a reasonable cause.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      11 years ago from Texas

      Thanks just go ahead and bring that old soapbox by any time you want. I have met few who regretted the time they served. The vast majority know that it was a life altering experience and much good came from it for them. I appreciate the good comments! WB

    • outdoorsguy profile image


      11 years ago from Tenn

      Great hub... Thanks..

      and Some one who doesnt know..

      I am proud to have served, proud to be a Vet and Proud to be an American.

      Reality is.. WE fight, some of us die. for a greater cause. The Constitution, freedom, Liberty, Justice.

      not becuase the Government tells us to but becuase we believe. we are risk takers, explorers, dreamers and achievers.

      we are the sons and daughters of the nation, and we choose to stand between the Enemy at the Gates and the people of America.

      We fight and Serve so this Nation can sleep soundly at night knowing that we are out there guarding against an enemy who wants to kill you and your children.

      So yes WE are PROUD..

      Again Great Hub.

      sorry putting away my soapbox now LOL

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 

      11 years ago from America

      We do love those that serve! thanks Wayne

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      11 years ago from Texas

      Tim, Lorlie and Larry...thank you for your comments. I wanted to relate the coming together of these young people from all walks of life and how they merge into that common bond of proudly wearing the uniform. Something the gave of themselves in sweat, stress, and all out gut effort to achieve. These are lessons, as Time so aptly pointed out, will stay with them for the rest of their lives whether they continue their military service or return to civilian life. They will all be better for it.

    • maven101 profile image

      Larry Conners 

      11 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Wayne...Thank you for this passionate tribute to the men and women that proudly serve our nation. These warriors for peace and security that sacrifice daily around the world, insuring our safety and freedoms...Larry

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      11 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Wonderful hub, Wayne. I grew up in the 'anti-war' generation but wholeheartedly appreciate and admire the soldier. Always.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      The lessons learned in the military should be passed on to all of our young people. Perhaps a stint in the armed forces should be a requirement.

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      11 years ago

      A great tribute Wayne - whether you are pro or anti war the people that choose to defend your nation proudly and in essence defending you the citizen. These men and women should be remembered proudly - and that is not conceit but justifiable self respect. :)

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      11 years ago from Texas

      someonewhoknows...interesting. It amazes me that the number use of the word "proud" is "conceit". That is certainly not my assessment. Having been one of those folks who survived military basic, it is proud in every sense of the word but not conceited. As you point out, it is a sense of "pride". I thank you for the info but I still like the title! WB

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      11 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      This hub is aptly named! I looked up the definition of "Pride" in my dictionary which says:

      QUOTE - Justifiable self respect

      However that was the second definition

      The number one definition is CONCEIT

      number three -Elation over an act or posseion

      number four - Haughty behaviour -DISDAIN

      number five - ostenatious display

      That said : Good hub on the word PRIDE


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