On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, I took the next step in my candidacy by filing the Declaration of Intent to campaign for Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners. While traveling across the County for the last three months and talking to the everyday citizens, I have heard a clear call for new leadership in Cobb County. The decision to file was made as a sign of my commitment to my supporters and in response to those who asked to donate to the campaign
The necessary steps to ensure compliance with all banking industry regulations will delay slightly the establishment of a link on this web page to our campaign banking account. In the interim you can mail donations using the form and address on the Donate tab on this web page.

I shall continue to travel around Cobb County meeting voters and listening to their concerns. WE have a long road in front us but clearly this campaign is already registering with many voters. I need your help in getting out OUR message. Become one of those who can say that they were there at the beginning of this new page in the history of Cobb County by clicking on the Volunteer button.

Mike

A week marked by information, celebration and remembrance. The Georgia Tea Party hosted Ron Sifen who is one of the most knowledgeable individuals on transportation issues in Cobb County. The Lockheed Martin Retirees Assn invited me to give my presentation on the Federal Budget. The Law Enforcement Memorial Service and Candlelight Vigil organized by the Kermit C. Sanders Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police on the Marietta Square was moving tribute to our police officers who died in the line of duty. Finally, Memorial Day with its national observances for those who gave all so that we the living might do so in freedom.  These events all demonstrate the vibrancy of America and the involvement of people who work to make us the greatest nation on earth.

Mike

The maxim “There but for the grace of God” frequently comes to mind when we escape some predicament or calamity because of a fortunate turn of events. After all, grace is a freely given and unmerited gift from God.

If the IED with the copper warhead had struck my HMMV 12 inches higher, then my worldly journey would have ended in Iraq in 2007. Grace? For sure.

But what about those who fell in battle? What about their need for grace on the day that they gave their “full measure of devotion?” More importantly, did their sacrifice mean anything?

For those who have served in uniform, the answer is an intuitive yes. On a personal level, to have not let your buddy down is more than sufficient to justify any sacrifice and a grace freely given.

But wars are fought on a national scale and sometimes it is difficult to recognize how individual valor regardless of its magnitude translates into a blow for the larger cause of freedom.

During a two week tour of faith-based programs in Romania, I was asked one Sunday to give the message at a local church. Sitting in front, I scanned the many faces of the elders of the congregation. During their nearly 50 years under Nazi and Communist tyranny, they were the saints who had kept the faith alive despite persecution and martyrdom. They were soldiers in their own right, yet without uniforms or any weapons other than their faith.

I remembered the words of a local grandfather who told me he knew the Americans would always come. With those few words he validated all the efforts of those men and women in uniform who manned their posts.

Whether they chased Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic or the broad Pacific; endured the harsh weather during to deployments ranging from Korea to Germany; fought in Vietnam, the Caribbean and Central America; or stood alert in missile fields and on air bases, they were the sentinels of freedom. People were watching and given heart by all these American warriors who came to see very quickly that the Cold War was cold in name only.

As I stood at the podium in Romania, I spoke for all of us who fought and defeated the Communists: We came as fast as we could.

Shortly before Ronald Reagan joined the Army at the start of World War II, he wrote in a magazine “that along with a few million other guys I feel pretty strong about my country. As for believing what you are doing is important — well, if fighting to preserve the United States … isn’t important, you name it.”

More than 70 years later, his words still ring true for those who fight for America … and die for her. If anything, our armed forces today not only shoulder the responsibility of protecting our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic, but also of representing the beacon of freedom. For if not us, America, then who will carry this torch?

This Memorial Day, the headstones, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, challenge “us the living (to dedicate ourselves) to the great task remaining before us — that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain.”

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who led the military effort after Hurricane Katrina, perhaps said it best for our times: “To be born free is an accident; to die free is a privilege; to live free is a responsibility.”

By their valor of serving and in many cases dying for our country, each of our honored dead gave us the gift of grace — a gift that was both freely given and unmerited. We should accord it with the dignity and reverence that it was given and, above all, not take it for granted.

Mike Boyce of east Cobb is a retired U.S. Marine colonel.