On Veterans Day, we honor those who serve

On Veterans Day, we honor those who serve

On Veterans Day, we honor those who serve

In President Kennedy’s inaugural address, he famously challenged Americans to, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

In point of fact, the Founding Fathers intended to create a country where neither were necessary.

America was built on the ideals of self-sufficiency and what Ayn Rand characterized as “rational self-interest.” In the abstract, society owes us nothing and we owe society nothing but our promise to respect the same freedom of others that we demand for ourselves.

The problem with this calculation is that it assumes everyone — and every nation — will accept the same bargain. They won’t.

The world is full of despots who have no reservations about enslaving individuals and entire countries in the pursuit of their ir-rational self-interest, and only if we are protected from their oppression can we hope to exercise the liberty God endowed and the Founders enumerated.

For this we need a strong and committed military. And in order for there to be a military, there need to be patriots willing and able to accept the sacrifices of service and the reality that their voluntary gesture all too often requires one to lay down his or her very life.

On Veterans Day, we honor those who have made such a decision.

Military service isn’t mandatory in this country — nor should it be. Except in the most dire emergency, our ideals are best defended by a smaller, totally unified force of highly trained professionals who understand going in what the job entails.

Make no mistake: The debt we owe to those willing to accept this awesome bargain on our behalf is more than a paycheck and a handful of meager benefits.

We owe them, too, our eternal gratitude for safeguarding the freedoms without which the life to which we are entitled is not possible.

Once a year, on Memorial Day, we pay tribute to Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in that effort. But on Veterans Day, it’s fitting and proper we honor, as well, those who freely made the choice to put themselves in harm’s but by God’s grace weren’t chosen.

Regardless of their branch of service, where duty takes them or whether they serve in peacetime or conflict, all who wear the uniform of this country know full well that liberty comes at a heavy cost.

Today — and every day — the Freedom Foundation can only express its heartfelt gratitude that there have always been, and always will be, those proud to unselfishly pay it.

Chief Executive Officer
Aaron Withe is the chief executive officer of the Freedom Foundation. Aaron began his career at the Freedom Foundation in 2015 working in the outreach department. He devised a full-scale outreach campaign that included having a team of door-to-door canvassers contact all union members throughout Oregon and inform them of their rights to leave their union. After much success, he was named the Oregon director, where he lead the Oregon team for two years. As an immigrant-turned-U.S. citizen, Aaron recognizes America as the freest and most prosperous country in the world. However, he also recognizes the very real threat posed by the government unions attacking the foundations of the American dream. This is what fuels Aaron as he now leads the Freedom Foundation’s national campaign to free every public employee in America from union bondage. Aaron has been a featured speaker for the Freedom Foundation at a multitude of events, including the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2019. He was the proud recipient of the Oregon Taxpayer Association’s 2019 Thomas Jefferson Award. He was formerly on the Washington & Oregon Advisory Committees to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. And he is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Leadership Network. Aaron has often shared the Freedom Foundation’s message on TV, including appearances Fox News, One America News, Newsmax, and The Huckabee Show on TBN. He has been featured on several national and local radio shows including Sean Hannity and Lars Larson and in print media outlets across the country including the Wall Street Journal and Daily Wire. He is a native of Birmingham, England, and is a graduate and former basketball player at Corban University in Oregon. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, staying active in many different sports and at the gym, he is active in his church and enjoys relaxing at several of the Pacific North West’s microbreweries.