Oath Keeper Testimonial

Vietnam

William Patton:

Testimonial: Nearly 49 years ago, and very young and wet behind the ears, a boy set out on a journey. The Vietnam War was becoming much hotter and I was soon to graduate from high school and had to make a decision. Would I go to college as my mother wanted for me, or would I enter the military, a dream I had long had for myself. I broke my mother’s heart, but soon after graduation I was a member of the United States Army. I vividly remember standing in the recruiting office with several other young men, raising my right hand and reciting the oath of enlistment. I also remember feeling very proud and a sense of belonging to an organization that generations in my family had belonged to as well. Shortly thereafter, I was on a bus headed south to the Army’s notorious Fort Polk and basic training. Before the day was over, I found my self in the front lean and rest position, in gravel, with my arms aching, in the infamous “Tigerland”. I would spend the next 18 weeks there shedding my  civilian me and adding my military, me. I recall, as I was finally able to lay my head down that night, asking myself what kinda mess had I gotten myself into. These thoughts returned often in the first couple of weeks, but eventually they waned as the military version of me began to take shape.

I have taken the oath twice since then. Once when I became a police officer and again when I joined the Army Reserve. The subsequent times I took the oath reinforced what it truly meant and the importance of living up to the promise I made to myself and my country. Today, that oath is alive in me and burns even hotter than it did when I took it, all three times, as a younger man. I know now what it means to say it has no expiration date. I am much older and lack the physical attributes to perform like I once did, but I am more willing than ever to stand up and defend my country and the Constitution that makes this the greatest nation in the history of the world, against all enemies ” foreign and domestic”, so help me God.