According to various reports, the U.S. Army will court-martial a military doctor because he refused to deploy to Afghanistan. Conscientious observer? Nope. Dying kid at home? Wrong again. Allergies to poppy fields? Three strikes.
Army doctor Lt. Col. Terry Larkin said he will not follow orders from President Barack Obama because he believes Obama was not born in the United States, therefore disqualifying him to serve as commander-in-chief. Larkin was due to report to Fort Campbell, Ky. for deployment, but instead showed up at the Pentagon. His commanding officer, Col. Gordon Roberts, met him there, told Larkin he would face court martial proceedings, and seized his Pentagon building pass and laptop computer.
I think my head might explode. It might be best if I just direct this column straight to Larkin.
For starters, sir, let me remind you that you are an officer in the United States armed forces. You are but a cog in the machine that defends and protects this nation and her allies, and policy decisions are not yours to make. The courts have legitimized Obama’s birth credentials, the Hawaii registrar of vital statistics verified that the Health Department holds Obama’s original birth certificate and the man has been sworn into office. He’s the president of the United States.
You are not.
By setting yourself above the laws and regulations of this nation, and turning your back on the highest rung of the hallowed chain of command in the military, you are spitting in the face of the nation you have sworn to protect. Americans showed up to have a vote. More of them voted for Obama than the other candidates. He’s your boss. Deal with it.
And though you certainly have the same rights as any other citizen to have your own opinions and vote however you see fit, you do not have the luxury of picking and choosing which rules you deem worthy to follow. That is what you sign up for when you choose military service. And, let me remind you — you chose military service. There is no draft in this nation.
But, wait, you’re a doctor, not a grunt, right? I don’t know much about your history, as it hasn’t been reported on much at this point, but I know that many of the healers in the armed forces originally enlisted to get help paying for college or medical school. That’s fair. However, you are a high-ranking officer at this point. You could have gotten out at any point if your heart just wasn’t in it or you wanted to take your life in a different direction.
You chose to stay, sir. That means you’re all in. That means you follow orders.
And if I can take a moment and go back to the point that you’re a doctor, not a fighter, let me remind you of another obligation you have, sir. There are fighters in Afghanistan. To be precise, there are fighters in Afghanistan who might share your views on the president or any other number of issues. However, they are doing their jobs and following their orders from their commander-in-chief. And some of them are going to get wounded in the process.
It sure would be nice if their doctor was there to help them.
But, no. You are putting your political beliefs above the well-being of the men and women you are obligated to serve. You are putting your beliefs above the results of a vote of your fellow Americans — marginalizing a free-election process that is a hallmark of the nation you purport to love and serve.
Cowardice comes to mind, sir, not patriotism.
I served this nation in combat, sir. So did many of the people I encounter in this community on a daily basis. Go to a grocery store and see the older gentlemen proudly wearing baseball caps emblazoned with unit logos or the ships they served on many years ago. They display honor and pride in what they did for this nation they love decades ago, in places far away.
You dishonor them, sir. And you dishonor the voice of Americans, who elected this man to serve as commander-in-chief.
No digression needed.