“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. What does it mean to you?

This oath lives in my heart. It rekindles memories of elementary school where the pledge was first introduced to me. I can remember standing very tall with my little hand placed firmly over my heart as these powerful words seemed to bellow from all corners of the earth as my classmates and I spoke as one voice every morning in class. Even at the age of 5 years old, the words seemed to empower me with a sense of freedom and pride that exceeded my tender young years. Since those wonderful days, a lot has changed, including the introduction, knowledge and importance of the pledge of allegiance. At points in our lives we discover things that we make no arguments about, but think will never change or never end. As I reflect here, there are some things that should never change; one of those things is the “Pledge of Allegiance”. America’s fundamental strength is found in this declaration that says in part, we are “… Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. If you will examine and evaluate the importance and power of these words, you will genuinely understand the following.

This is the same pledge that made me so very proud to join the military and fight for my country in Vietnam. Today’s reality for me is the importance of my willingness to die for the United States of American. And during my tour of duty I saw several of my friends and comrades severely injured and die. During those days I was convinced that I was doing the right thing, in part, because I had taken and believed in the pledge. After the war ended, I returned to find a very angry America. At the age of 22 it seemed to me to be a very confused America. I resigned myself to view the war protestors in the minority of public opinion; unpatriotic to say the less. Why would they rebel against the declaration of independence? The more I listened and heard I become very confused. I wondered why men and women who made great sacrifices, some unto death, could be treated this way.

I share similar feelings today as I read the reports and stories of the tens of thousands of Veteran men and women who are Homeless and living on the streets in our communities across America. I wonder why men and women who made great sacrifices can be treated this way.

These are the words that motivate me to ask you to take the pledge – let our Pledge of Allegiance manifest in your heart and join the millions of patriotic Americans in an aggressive initiative to house our homeless Veterans”. We can all participate in this valiant effort to protect those that protect us. Not one of us can do it all; but all of us can do one thing to eliminate the condition homeless Veteran“.

We can all share in their restoration and integration back into the fiber of the American fabric.