For God and Country

Dillon - Conway, Arkansas
Entered on October 31, 2011

I believe in loyal and selfless-service to my country, to America. It is the motivating principle behind my decision to join Army ROTC, with the ultimate goal of becoming an officer in the U.S. Army. It is a drive to always fulfill my civic duties to this great nation. It comes from my father.

My father was never in the military. He never worked as a government employee in any way. He is a backwoods oil-man from a town in Arkansas that most people have never heard of. He runs the same business that his father ran before him, and his grandfather, in turn, before him. However, from the time I was a little boy, he instilled in me a love for my country, and the ideas it was founded upon. He would often recite great American quotes to me, such as the Abraham Lincoln quote “I like to see a man proud of the country in which he lives. I like to see a man live in such a way that makes his country proud.” My father also gave me a reverence for the military, for all who had served, and are serving now. Perhaps this is because his grandfather was a veteran of the World War II Pacific Campaign. Many times, he told me of the man my great grandfather, LTC Dean Edward Alexander, was: honorable, hard-working, very patriotic. I cannot count how many times I have heard secondhand war stories from my dad. When he tells me these stories, he also reminds me that this man was who I was named after.

My father is not only an ardent patriot, but a student of military history, particularly of the American Civil War and World War II. I have visited many Civil War battlefields with him, and taught me this respect for those who fought and fell on such hallowed ground. I picked up this thirst for military history from his teachings. He taught me that there was no better service one could give to America than to lay down one’s life in the defense of it. This is a belief that I value; it has existed since the times of the Ancient Spartan warriors of Greece. From that, I cherished this belief in the glory and honor that could be attained through military service.

These values my father taught me form a foundation for my own patriotism and citizenship. Out of my desire to make my father proud, I strive to be a good citizen and servant of my country. He taught me about service to my country, and the honor of military service. With this in mind, I decided to enroll in ROTC. Since then, several people have asked me why I want to join the Army. I answer with “Because I have always wanted to.” What they do not know is that this desire stems from the lessons my father taught me.