Evidence for what you wrote is that so many people did not recognize a founding document when it was read on NPR. The Declaration of independence was a revolutionary document this is true but it holds the sae truth today as it did when it was written. People have the right and obligation to understand that document and learn how it fits all of us even today, maybe more today than ever.
I absolutely agree with your statement about patriotism. Even though I was a CO I served in the military. I never carried a gun, never fired a weapon but I served for 12 years and took care of those who did carry guns. I remain flumoxed as to why more people do not do the same. If you have skills, or want skills the military is a wealth of opportunity just waiting for them. No one has to go in the Marines or the Army, no one has to fight on the front lines if they do not feel able to do that. The Coast Guard may need people who are strong swimmers or know something about boats and rescue. If someone has some training of any kind that the military could use such as technical expertise, mechanical know how, nursing, paramedics, aircraft know how, etc. the road is short to the recruiters. Let me tell you it is a good life, full of travel, meeting all sorts of people, full of opportunities. It is, like most of life what offers, what you make it.It certainly broadens ones horizons. But like you say Irene, it is in a pure form of putting your patriotism up front. I do not blow my horn about my service, but if challenged on it I certainly let folks know. I also ask them if they served and get everything from “well I thought about it” to “no” I ain’t no grunt” to “yes” followed by where and when.
There are other ways to serve other than the military, like teaching in under served areas, volunteering, teaching reading to under privileged kids, taking food to isolated seniors, or providing for kids who have a home with no food. There are many ways to serve, too bad so many people never take that step to do it. To me it smacks of taking our freedoms for granted.