Recently, my son swore the following oath to uphold the constitution of the United States as he enlisted in the Marine Corps: 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 the same and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

The Marine Corps core values are honor, courage, and commitment. They explain that their core values give them strength and regulate their behavior. And they bond the Marine Corps into a total force that can meet any challenge. They define honor as ‘the quality of maturity, dedication, trust, and dependability that commits Marines to act responsibly; to be accountable for their actions to fulfill obligations; and to hold others accountable for their actions.’

They define courage as ‘the mental, moral, and physical strength to carry Marines through the challenges of combat and the mastery of fear; to do what is right; to adhere to a higher standard of personal conduct; to lead by example, and to make tough decisions under stress and pressure.’

Finally, they instill a ‘spirit of determination and dedication that leads to professionalism, pride, concern for others, and an unrelenting determination to achieve a standard of excellence to every endeavor. Commitment establishes the Marine as the ‘warrior and citizen others strive to emulate.’

With two sons in the military, I am mindful of the need to pray for our soldiers. I pray they will know and fear God as they carry out their duty. May they truly embody the core values they are taught and may they defend us with godly hearts.

~ Susan Kovaka