Recognize all branches of the military

By AJ Edwards

If there is one thing that amuses the heck out of me every time I go home, it’s the constant bickering between my mother, a former Navy officer, and my father, a former Marine.

It’s always entertaining hearing the typical “my branch is better than yours,” but I feel I should go against the grain and tell you why each branch is important and equal in greatness.

Army: Who else could have defeated the Nazis in Europe?

Who has the capabilities to set up defensive positions all around combat zones and maintain the show of force and presence we need in order to keep enemies of our country from roaming free? Who else has the Airborne, Rangers and Special Forces? Even though I am a Marine to the core, when I had the Army fighting alongside me I felt like we were the most unstoppable force imaginable.

Navy: Until we learn to walk on water, we will always need the Navy to sail us overseas.

The Navy isn’t just a glorified ocean-based taxi, they also provide all of the religious and medical care for the Marine Corps and they transportvital supplies. Also, the Navy SEALS were the ones who stormed the compound in Pakistan that held Osama bin Laden and killed him. If someone were to say the Navy isn’t important, I would contest that theory strongly.

Air Force: They bring our troops home on their Boeing C-17 Globemaster III jets, bring supplies to the troops on the front lines, send in their Pararescue Jumpers and rescue medics who parachute into combat zones to treat the wounded–the Air Force is a unit that deserves recognition and appreciation.

Coast Guard: The Coast Guard holds an incredibly vital role in protecting our nation at home.

For example, if you are kayaking in Alaska and get caught in rough water, the Coast Guard’s rescue swimmers will brave the elements to save you. When it comes to drug smugglers transporting their cargo via the U.S. coast, the Coast Guard is there to stop them and ensure those drugs do not enter our streets. You don’t often hear about them capturing insurgents or clearing cities, but they are still vital to protecting our nation.

Marine Corps: When something absolutely has to be destroyed over night, you call the Marines in.

An offensive-based unit, the Corps has been on the front lines ever since it wascreated in 1775. During World War II the Marines were constantly doing damage to the Japanese with their island-hopping campaign. When it came down to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Marines were there to clear the way for the support elements that followed.

My overall message is that regardless of which branch of service you serve in, you have all done a vital job to protect our great nation. For that, whether you’re a jar head, a squid or an army dog, your service is appreciated and has earned my highest level of respect.