In 1963, I proudly swore the following Oath:
I, _______________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.
I was then commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. I wish to point out that there is one difference between the officer and enlisted oath, in that the oath taken by an officer does not include any provision to obey orders. Officers are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States. That, in and of itself is significant here.
Fortunately,I then went on to serve my country in several locations, ending my commission with a tour in South East Asia.
When I took the Oath as a municipal police officer and later as a deputy sheriff, I remained steadfast in maintaining my Oath, and convictions.
There was an incident which occurred when I was a rookie police officer which has always remained with me. And remember that in 1969, rookie cops kept the mouth shut, eyes and ears open. My squad was part of a skirmish line in the downtown area, to maintain control of a Viet Nam war protest. When we set up, I realized that I would be facing anti war demonstrators, some of whom were waving North Vietnamese flags. The same North Vietnamese who were responsible for the deaths of five of my best friends.
I felt compelled to say something to my squad sergeant and did so, stating that I did not think I should be "up front" due to my strong emotions regarding the war, and that I was unsure of my ability to maintain my objectivity. I was told to stand with my squad and did as I was instructed. I was to say the least, unsure of myself, since all my military training taught me to be aggressive and always on the offense, and now, I was thrust into a defensive, passive mode.
As the crowd grew and the protest became more intense, the protesters advanced on our position. As if drawn to me, one of the protesters, waving a North Vietnamese flag seemed to key on me and advanced, jabbing the flag at me. In the ensuing physical confrontation, the protester required emergency room treatment for his injuries.
I offer this as an example of what is required of us, even in the face of overwhelming emotional and physical obstacles which we must overcome if we are to remain steadfast in our beliefs.
We are now faced with a not wholly dissimilar situation. Our government is slowly and insidiously attempting to erode our rights, bring us into submission, and remove our right to self preservation.
I for one refuse to submit. I join with the Oath Keepers, freely, and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.
It is therefore, up to us now, our military and law enforcement brethren, active and retired, to be the Keepers of the peace, Protectors of the innocent, Defenders of the faith. It is now to us to keep the barbarians from the gate.
With God's help, we shall not fail in this endeavor.
F. H. Holmes, Sr.
"In All Things.....Courage!"