For many veterans, their sacred oath to defend America doesn't end at the edge of the battlefield.
That's why Convention of States Project volunteers partnered with civics groups to honor local veterans of the armed services last month in Liberty, Missouri.
“When I took the oath for the Air Force to defend the country and the Constitution, I took that as a lifetime oath,” said Rodney Huckleberry, who volunteers his time as the Grassroots Coordinator for Convention of States Missouri. “I'm serving as a civilian today to save the Constitution and the United States.”
The Convention of States Project is a nationwide grassroots effort to encourage states to invoke Article V of the Constitution in order to fight back against an overreaching federal government. So far, four states have ratified their resolution, and 30 more will consider the measure in 2016, including Missouri.
“The states created the federal government,” Huckleberry said. “The government has gotten too much power, and it's time to bring that power back to the states.”
The room was filled to near-capacity, including about 150 attendees and several Missouri state legislators who support COS.
“We wanted to raise awareness about the plan to save America,” said Keith Carmichael, the Missouri State Director for Convention of States Project. “States have the obligation to do federal oversight, according to the Constitution, and they haven't done it for a long time.”
Carmichael only recently became politically active, and now oversees thousands of COS volunteers in the state of Missouri.
“For the first 50 plus years of my life, I wasn't aware or engaged,” he said. “I was busy doing what people do—making ends meet.”
On the other hand, Leila Calhoun has been a political activist for about 60 years, and she sees a real solution as a volunteer for Convention of States Project.
“This is the best thing that's happened in a long time,” said Calhoun. “When Congress gets the idea that they can live up there forever, that's wrong.”
The Convention of States resolution would allow for congressional term limits and other reforms that would reduce the size and scope of the federal government.
Aaron McClain, another volunteer for Convention of States in Missouri, says his children are his primary motivation.
“I'm a man of faith, a family man. Those things are under attack,” McClain said. “I want to do something about that, I want to preserve that for my kids and my grandkids that are going to come. We love our freedom, and we will do anything to retain that freedom.”
The common theme among Convention of States supporters is that they want a better America for future generations—an America that is more prosperous and free with less government intervention.
“I tell people to think of the people in their community and their young children,” said Carmichael. “This is their lives we're talking about. It's not an option to sit back and leave them with a mess.”