• Chuck and his wife Ann

  • President and Charlie heading to the East Room

  • Chuck and his son Mike

  • Chuck and his daughter Jeanna

  • Medal of Honor

  • East Room For The Medal of Honor Ceromony

Vietnam Veterans of America,
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
National Chapter of the Year - 1999 & 2007
Newsletter of the Year 2007, 09, 11, & 15
E-Newsletter of the Year 2017
Chapter member LTC. (Retired) Chuck Kettles receved the Medal of Honor - July 2016
Click Here To View The 2018 MLB All Star Game Opening Ceremony Honoring MOH Recipients.  Col Kettles Is The Only One In Uniform.  The Video Lead In Is A Short MOH History Followed By Announcing Each Receipient. 
President’s Message
Jon Luker

What an Awesome Country

By the time you read this, 4th of July celebrations will be complete, many people will have returned to work or whatever their daily routine is, and the party favors will have been put away for another year.

But, it seems to me that now might be the perfect time to reflect on just how marvelous and how revolutionary our country was, back in 1776.  There was nothing quite like it back then, and there is no country as free as the United States is today.  So, let’s look at the revolution and see what your impression of America is today.

During the birth of America, it was common to test beliefs about statements of fact in a trial by combat.  The American Revolutionary War was just such a trial.  Do you remember the question of fact at issue?  It was: what is the source of legal power?  No small question.  Up ‘till that time, virtually every government claimed it was the sovereign power of the land based upon some grant of authority that came from outside the people.  For example, some say the right is inherited, in the way a son of a king becomes a king.  Some say the right comes from God when the leader is anointed by church.  Some say the right comes from conquest.  But Americans said those are all wrong.  Americans observed that when people are born, the already have everything they need to exercise of authority.  They can decide, they can desire, they can have faith, they can take steps toward getting what they want, they can head in any direction they choose and so forth.  Of course, that ability improves with age, but as they stated in the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  

That was revolutionary enough.  Americans were the first people and remain the only people on earth that attribute their physical and legal power to their live birth.  But then the question comes, if all the people have all of the legal power and all of the physical power, how can the government be sovereign?  America’s answer:  It cannot not.  Again, quoting from the Declaration:  “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

So, the stage was set.  Do rights come from birth or do they come from government?  America won.  Freedom Won.

From this one novel revolution flowed many changes which have not yet been adopted fully by any other nation.  For example, most governments relied on some nongovernmental entity to solve civil disputes.  Whether you got justice when your neighbor accidently killed your milk cow depended on things like how much justice you could afford, whether the King or local sheriff liked you and so forth.  The United States was the first nation to recognize the need for there to be a uniform and fair means of resolving disputes between citizens, between local governments and between states, so that peace could be maintained without the need for “trials by combat.”  Therefore, we created within government a civil court system that was required to hear any case brought to it by any citizen.

A third revolution was that for a trial to be considered a “fair” trial, and thus provide the process which is due any citizen, the facts would have to be presented in an open court.  Military tribunals and other closed courts were used by King George and others to conduct fake trials designed to give governmental “approval” to a previously determined outcome.  Such trials are not American because they cannot be trusted.  Instead, the entire world was invited to see the evidence for themselves and to decide for themselves whether justice was done. If you can’t review the evidence, you can’t trust the evidence nor the people who made the decision.  Along the same line, another change was the way juries were developed.  Under the old way, jurors were people who paid for the opportunity to make a case come out the way they wanted, or people who were selected for the jury because they already knew how the government wanted the case to come out, etc.  In America, open trials would be decided by friends and neighbors and other peers who had no vested interest in the outcome of the case.
I could go on.  I just might, at some point.

But for now, all I can say is that no matter what anybody else thinks about the United States, it is the only country in the world that believes that human rights are birth rights, and that it is the government, not the citizen, that has to find legal authority before doing a proposed action.  That revolution led to all of the others.  That is why people from all over the world associate the Flag of the United States of America with freedom.  Evil doers who want to rule through brute force do not burn the flag of Canada, Great Britton, Mexico, etc.  They burn the flag of the only truly free nation in the world, because ours is the flag that has great meaning all over the world.

That’s why you still see me flying the flag of the American Revolution, both on vest and on my heart.

De Oppresso Liber