An Inspiring Speech by an Inspired Man

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Guest, Inspiring, Opinion, Politics, Video, Web Log (Blog) — posted by D. Sirmize on August 15, 2006 @ 12:04 pm    


The following is the partial text of graduation speech at the completion of Infantry training of the Army 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The Colonel’s speech echoes the feelings I have for my country, my respect for our military, and my frustration with the disrespect that is shown both by the liberal establishment and the mainstream media.  In these times when patriotism seems to be on the decline, this speech gives me hope.  The date is April 21, 2006.  The speaker is LTC Randoph C. White, Jr. 

These men are special for many reasons but the fact that they stood up and said “send me” at time of war speaks volumes as to their character. Becoming a member of the military is always a big decision, but to do so at time of war speaks well of a young man who could have easily opted for a safer existence.

You out there on the parade field- Don’t ever think that the kids running around on some college campuses protesting and whining have anything on you. you are privileged to have the one advantage that all covet… you will know many of life’s truths – you’ll know about the goings on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti, the Philippines, the Balkans and many other places. You won’t have to guess or base an opinion on some bespectacled so called expert, or Hollywood “professional pretender” who defines danger as crossing the street, leaving campus, or having a decaf latte instead of a regular. Your head will not be filled with the empty theory of the old pathetic slackers who teach on many campuses… the ones who ran to Canada, or hid out in Europe, while many of the vets with us here today put it all on the line in a place called Vietnam.  The snide arrogant crowd who spend the day blaming America for every wrong in the world before going home to sleep at night under the blanket of freedom provided by better men.

You’ll see more in the next 5 years than many will in a lifetime, and because of this you will know some of life’s hard truths and some of its purest devotions. You’ll never have to guess.

I know that these complimentary words may come as a surprise to some of you because we have tried to be hard on you…hard because what lies ahead will be tremendously challenging and for many the defining chapter of your lives. Life as an infantryman is not easy, and the collective goal of those of us charged with your training has been to make sure that you understand that. Your drill sergeants and commanders have humped the steep mountains of Afghanistan with a 120 pound rucksack on their back — grasping for breath in the thin mountain air in pursuit of the enemy — quadricep muscles screaming — back aching, sleep and rest not forthcoming…your drill sergeant has chased the enemy through the streets of Baghdad or Ramadi… reacted to IED’s, and fought the enemy from 10 feet away.

Don’t let the pessimistic television talking heads, high browed newspaper writers, Hollywood idiots, or any other faction of the “blame america first” crowd get you down! I’m speaking of the “latte biscotti crowd”. They are simple background chatter men….and will always exist on the periphery of any endeavor that requires selfless service or loyalty. They are not worthy of your concern and truth be told – in the pit of their cowardly hearts – they wish they could be like you.

I for one will never…ever… apologize for being an American and don’t you ever feel that you have to. We’re not perfect but I can think of no place better. We didn’t become the great country that we are by accident….we earned it! —- And while we were at it— we kept and continue to keep a large portion of the world free. American blood and sacrifice is the indisputable part of the world equation. More people in this world are trying to come to our shores than any other country. We remain the beacon of hope for many, and god willing it will always be so. We’re number 1…don’t apologize for it – be damn proud.

Full text of the Colonel’s speech is here, video here. I recommend the video.





    Comment by Joel Brigham — August 15, 2006 @ 1:10 pm

  2. No. That all caps bugs the crap out of me too. Had I not seen it first on the video, I would not have read thru the all caps. For the excerpts I used, I copied the text to Microsoft Word, selected it all, then went to Format > Change Caps, and selected lower-case.

    Comment by D. Sirmize — August 15, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

  3. Dudes who are worried about the caps. Chill! This is how a text is prepared for oral delivery. Seriously.

    Don’t be distracted, this is a real man speaking the truth.

    Thank you for presenting this for your readers.

    Comment by Old Guy Chuck — August 15, 2006 @ 2:54 pm


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