Greetings, everyone, from the picturesque and charming island of Cayman Brac. I am here this week with my diving group, the Dive Pirates Foundation. It is a 501c(3) organization that focuses on adaptive dive training for amputees, and those suffering from spinal cord injuries.
While here, it is our hope is to one of our twice monthly FB Live events from right here at the Cayman Brac Beach Resort. Yesterday, I enjoyed three awesome dives here in the pristine, warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. Tomorrow, we head over to Little Cayman to dive the infamous Bloody Bay Wall, and I can’t wait. I must admit, this downtime is very therapeutic, and needed.
It does seem very surreal here, and I have vowed not to turn on the TV the entire time here on Cayman Brac. I brought a great book, “The Good Soldiers” which tells the tale of 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry of the First Infantry Division in Iraq during the surge. I was part of Task Force 2-16 Infantry as a young captain in Operation Desert Storm, and am an honorary member of the 16th Infantry Regiment. The battalion was commanded by a dear, close friend of mine, Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich.
I do want to share with you a true and quite revealing story. On Sunday, I flew from Grand Cayman over to Cayman Brac on the routine Cayman Airlines Express. There was a charming young flight attendant with whom I spoke, since I was seated up front. There were only seven passengers as it was the last flight for the day. Our conversation started quite simply, but developed into a conversation of hope, promise, but also despair. See, I asked the young lady if she had wished her dad a Happy Father’s Day. She replied that she did not know where he was. I asked if she had children, to which she replied yes, a boy and a girl. I said that I hoped the kids had wished their dad a Happy Father’s Day. Sadly, she replied that the male who was responsible was not in the lives of her children. She told me that she is both father and mother. This is a story playing out far too broadly in America, and it hit me in the face as I was traveling to this beautiful bit of earthly paradise.
I had been showered with Happy Father’s Day greetings all day long on Sunday. I had cards, and special text messages from my wife Angela, Aubrey, and Austen. Angela is on her second Father’s Day without her dad who passed away on December 31, 2016, and was buried during the summer of 2017 in Arlington National Cemetery. I hurt for the young flight attendant, whom we shall call Pamela. She was a strikingly attractive young woman, tall and elegant, and could easily be a model. However, she confided in me a sense of pride, and hope, as we talked for that short 27 minute flight from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac. She wanted to find another job because she was missing too much time from her kids. She was stressing academics and sports, and was gleeful about her children’s capability in track, and girls’ softball.
But, there was one thing she said that really caught my attention. She stated that she wished her children had been born in America where there were more opportunities for them. It was that confession, that assertion, that I wished could have been recorded, and shared, all over our country. Too often, we, in America, take our blessings, and the aspect of the equality of opportunity for granted. Pamela is well aware of it, and she wants it for her children. She confessed that in the Caymans, the government tells the tale that they will “take care of” the people — hmm, when have we heard that before? However, they fail to do so, and, as Pamela stated, they create a system of “us and them.”Too often, we, in America, take our blessings, and the aspect of the equality of opportunity for granted. Click To Tweet
I wish I had more time with her to explain that is always the fallacy, and false narrative, of progressive socialism. They promise the world to everyone, who end up having nothing, except for those who, as Pamela stated, are the rich. That is why I find it so laughingly absurd to hear leftists talk about the 1% and the other 99%, when they are the ones — the elites — who make up most of the 1%. The richest man in the world is not a constitutional conservative — it is Jeff Bezos. Sorry, lefties, it is not the Koch Brothers.
What Pamela realized America offers is the equality of opportunity. It is a nation that does not set limitations upon you because of where you are from, or where you were born. America does, indeed, have income levels, but it does not have class structure. One can freely move among the different socio-economic classes in America based upon their own drive, determination, and will. No one is locked into a certain state of existence. And, regardless of what the liberal, progressive, socialists state, equality of outcomes never works — as Pamela is witnessing here in the Caymans. Having government bureaucrats decide your fate never works; having them believe they can guarantee your happiness is even worse.
Yes, I am here in this beautiful area, these quaint islands surrounded by crystal clear blue waters. However, the seas may appear calm on the surface, but there is a strong undercurrent beneath the waves. Pamela is experiencing those currents, along with others in America. What we must do to enable them to swim safely, and truly find calm waters is advance the equality of opportunity, which begins with a great education. That, my friends, is the tide that lifts all boats.
God bless Pamela, a single working mom, also functioning as dad, trying to do her best to create winning opportunities for her two kids. Her goal is simple: make them victors, not victims.
Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom. His forthcoming book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, is due fall 2018 from Brown Books Publishing Group.