Robert (I nicknamed him "Bob" the first day I met him in Freshman English class, and it stuck! He hates it! LOL) and I were great friends all through high school. He was such a kind, friendly person who was always positive, with a big hug and a smile every time he saw me! We always liked to joke and kid around with each other. But after high school, we lost touch and I always wondered what happened to him. Ahh, but the little miracle that is Facebook allowed us to reconnect again! Little did I know that he enrolled in the Air Force right after graduation and has been very ACTIVE military ever since! Below are some of his tours and assignments...including serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.Technical Sergeant
US Air Force, 16 + years
Air Force Security Forces (AF Military Police)
Law Enforcement Supervisor
Currently: Military Working Dog (K9) Handler (Explosive)
MacDill AFB, FL
1 tour Iraq, 1 tour Afghanistan, 2 tours S. Korea, 2 tours Bahrain, 1 tour Qatar, 1 tour Saudi Arabia, 1 tour St Kitts (carribean island), 1 trip Germany,US Secret Service Missions for Pres., Vice Pres. and other nations leaders
I just asked "Bob" to write whatever was on his mind, and he put together a really great post on his view of what it means to be a patriot. I appreciate his thoughtful insight and perspective. He still has the big heart he had all those years ago in high school. And thanks for mentioning the "Bayside Patriots! Wow, what a group! How amazing would it be if every town in America had a group like that to support our military? That would be a beautiful thing!
Bob also added the different military creeds which I really enjoyed reading.
Thank you my friend for serving our country so well and thank you to your family for their sacrifice, which as you said is just as great. I am so proud of you and I am eternally grateful!
"Last night Angie asked me to be a guest blogger for her about the 4th of July. I thought to myself long and hard all night and all day about what to write. But while you hopefully enjoy reading this, I hope that it offends no one and benefits all. But we all know how that goes sometimes. During this little rant, spiel, babbling (or whatever you may call it), I am going to try my best to make it an enjoyable read. Of course, I am by no means a super intelligent person, or extremely well versed (KY publik edumacayshun y’all), but I am going to try my best. There may be a few attempts at humor (see above) but bear with me.
Everybody has their own opinions of what the 4th stands for or what a true patriot is, but what I believe is what I KNOW. 4th of July 1776, Independence Day, is the day that we celebrate our independence as a nation, when we were formed quite a few years back. ENOUGH SAID! It is also one of the few holidays that we celebrate our heroes and our veterans.
What makes a Hero? Or what makes a Patriot? Another opinionated topic in itself probably. I have had the opportunity to travel to a lot of places and done and seen a lot of different things, most were good, but a few, not so much. I have seen amazing feats of bravery and also seen extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion. But it really hit me as I did my daily bike ride around down Tampa.
As I rode around I passed a few monuments, one was the HEROE’S PLAZA which was a memorial to all firemen, policemen and soldiers that have fallen within the local area of Tampa FL. It even has their names etched in stone forever memorialized. Another monument I passed was the Tampa Police Department memorial. Around it were a huge pile of flower bouquets, prayer candles, cards and even a teddy bear left by a small girl. It was being observed for the Tampa PD officers, Officers Dave Curtis and Jeff Kocab who were gunned down by a known felon during a “routine” traffic stop just a few days ago (Rest In Peace Guys, and God Bless Your Families). That was a VERY somber sight for me to behold. Especially being a Military Policeman myself. After I finished my ride I thought about it some more. Were these two officers Heroes? MOST DEFINITELY! But the real heroes are the families of all the policemen, firemen and Military Service Members who sacrifice and give up so much for their loved ones, even before that day in 1776 (God knows my mom and wife had A LOT of sleepless nights while I was out on combat operations with the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by the way I am Air Force). THOSE ARE THE TRUE HEROES!!
Now what makes a patriot? Does a person have to die to be a patriot? Of course not! Every Friday afternoon, a group of people made up of veterans, local citizens, their friends and family stand out on Bayshore Boulevard (a main street here in Tampa) and hold flags, waving their hands and signs thanking the military (both American and Foreign) and policemen as they drive by (regardless of the weather, 30 degrees or 105 degrees). They call themselves the “Bayshore Patriots”, I give them a honk every time I pass them as my thanks to them. Are they any more patriotic than me, Angie or any of you? Maybe, maybe not! But what makes them patriots is they are doing what they can to show their support. And with that being said, what I think makes a patriot is a person that gives all that they can to show their support, better their community even further their cause all for the sake of good, and again for the sake of their community and country whether they are form America or not. It does not mean that some who works in a coal mine is not a patriot. Or someone that can’t get ahead and works in a fast food restaurant. It is not just the military or police vets. But as long as they are willing to give it their all to better themselves, their community or their country, THAT makes them a patriot.
I want to thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to read this and listen to me drone on and on (BLAME ANGIE, SHE ASKED FOR IT! LOL)! I hope everybody had a great 4th of July and remember to thank a PATRIOT whoever they may be or whatever they do! But please keep MANKIND in your prayers! And feel free to go up to a veteran and thank them or give them a hug for their sacrifices also (I would think twice about running up and hugging a policeman though! LOL!)!
But before you sign off, please scroll down where I have included the individual creeds for Police, the different Military Services and the U.S. Coast Guard!"
Sincerely Yours, And With all My Thanks, Technical Sergeant Robert Kevin Lewis United States Air Force K9 Handler
THE POLICEMAN’S CREED
"The will to survive, to survive the attack, must be uppermost in my mind. For the one who lives through a fight is better off than the one who does not. Therefore, preparation and not paranoia is the key to my survival. To survive I must be aware, be alert, be confident, be deceptive, be decisive, and be ready. I must expect the unexpected and do the unexpected.
When faced with violent assault, my life depends upon my reaction without hesitation. There is no time to ponder because to ponder is to possibly perish. My response, if attacked, must not be fear but aggressiveness. I must block out all thoughts of my own peril and think only of stopping the assailant.
My prize in personal defense is my life. The perfect fight is one that is over before the loser realizes what is happening. The perfect defense is a counterattack that succeeds before the enemy can attack again. Therefore, if I am assaulted, I will retaliate instantly. I will be sudden and quick. I will be fast, not fair. Speed is my salvation.
If my attacker knocks me down, I will fight back against the odds and get up off the ground. I will seize the initiative and take every advantage. My concern is to stay alive. I won't hold back.
If I find myself under lethal attack, I won't be kind. I will be harsh and tough. If I must shoot, I will shoot with precision and shoot to stop. If I must use my hands, I will use them with all the strength I possess and more. When I strike, I will strike hard; I will kick, punch, and do what must be done to survive. I will strike no more after my attacker is incapable of further action, but I will see that he is stopped.
Above all, I won't give up, and I will make it. I will not die in the streets, or in an alley, or in any other part of the concrete jungle. I will survive; not just by good luck and good fortune, but by my skills."
THE AIRMAN’S CREED
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN.
I AM A WARRIOR.
I HAVE ANSWERED MY NATION'S CALL.
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN.
MY MISSION IS TO FLY, FIGHT, AND WIN.
I AM FAITHFUL TO A PROUD HERITAGE,
A TRADITION OF HONOR,
AND A LEGACY OF VALOR.
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN,
GUARDIAN OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE,
MY NATION'S SWORD AND SHIELD,
ITS SENTRY AND AVENGER.
I DEFEND MY COUNTRY WITH MY LIFE.
I AM AN AMERICAN AIRMAN:
WINGMAN, LEADER, WARRIOR.
I WILL NEVER LEAVE AN AIRMAN BEHIND,
I WILL NEVER FALTER,
AND I WILL NOT FAIL
THE SAILOR’S CREED
|I am a United States Sailor. |
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and all who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.
THE SOLDIER’S CREED
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the
United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
MARINE CORPS RIFLEMAN’S CREED
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...
My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace!
UNITED STATES COAST GUARDSMAN’S CREED
I am proud to be a United States Coast Guardsman.
I revere that long line of expert seamen who by their devotion to duty and sacrifice of self have made it possible for me to be a member of a service honored and respected, in peace and in war, throughout the world.
I never, by word or deed, will bring reproach upon the fair name of my service, nor permit others to do so unchallenged.
I will cheerfully and willingly obey all lawful orders.
I will always be on time to relieve, and shall endeavor to do more, rather than less, than my share.
I will always be at my station, alert and attending to my duties.
I shall, so far as I am able, bring to my seniors solutions, not problems.
I shall live joyously, but always with due regard for the rights and privileges of others.
I shall endeavor to be a model citizen in the community in which I live.
I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril.
With God’s help, I shall endeavor to be one of His noblest Works...
A UNITED STATES COAST GUARDSMAN.