An autumn gourd on a silver platter with flowers next to the words "Give Thanks."

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Greetings, everyone! I pray y’all are looking forward to a great time with family and friends this Thanksgiving. Now, I must warn ya, please enjoy it, because we never know when the progressive socialist leftist cancel culture will set its sights on this day. However, today, I want to take some time to reflect back on the past week and the reason why I give thanks to God Almighty.

When I looked at my schedule for last week, it seemed daunting. Here’s why:

The week began with a Southwest Airlines flight to Houston to link up with the folks from Patriot Academy to do a couple of historical narrations for 7th grade homeschoolers. The day began at the San Jacinto battlefield. It was there on April 21, 1836, that the independence of Texas was secured. On March 2, 1836, Texas had declared its independence, but the brutal Mexican dictator, General Santa Anna was hunting down Sam Houston and the Texian Army. They finally met on that April day, and in just 18 minutes, beginning at 4:30pm, the battle was over, and a rout ensued. The obelisk that stands on that battlefield is 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument in DC. Yes, everything is bigger in Texas.

From there we traveled down to Galveston to do a narration on the Texas special event called Juneteenth. I find it funny that ol’ Giuseppe Biden endeavored to steal that day away from Texas declaring it a federal holiday. The doggone Democrats were against Emancipation. There is a recently completed mural that celebrates General Order #3 by Union General Gordon Granger. What I like about history is that it is factual. See, just two years later, on July 4th 1867, 150 of those recently freed black men met in Houston to establish the Republican Party of Texas. After all, it was a Republican president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation. And, last week, one of those freed black men, former Texas Republican State Senator, Matthew Gaines, had a statue and memorial dedicated to his legacy on the campus of Texas A&M University, where he is also buried. Sen. Gaines played a pivotal part in the establishment of both Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M Universities.

After Galveston, I spoke for the first meeting of the True Texas Project chapter in Webster, Texas. What an honor to address true Texans who want to restore, protect, and preserve the Texas lineage of individualism . . . rights, freedoms, and liberties.

The following day, I headed up to Buda, Texas, to meet with folks in the firearms industry. There is no doubt that our Second Amendment rights are under assault. The left is targeting the industry by assailing financial institutions, insurance agencies, manufacturing, training, and regulations. That was why we resolved that day to create a Texas Gun Industry Association which can protect these small business owners and those who ensure we will always be citizens, not subjects.

From Buda, we headed down to Columbus, Texas, to spend an evening with the folks of the Colorado County GOP, hat tip to Bobbie Gustus for a great event. Before we started the event, I had the chance to speak to one of the coaches for the Colorado County High School football team who was heading to the second-round playoff game, which they won.

Then it was off to Henrietta, Texas, where my dear friend Pastor Roy Boswell, Mayor of Henrietta, asked me to help raise funds for their Senior Center. It was an honor to speak on the topic of “Honor and Respect” for our seniors and how we need to get back to the “old school” ways.

The next stop took us to Alpine, Texas. Folks, there is nothing like sunset over the Big Bend Mountains. A special hat tip to Monica McBride for hosting me out in southwest Texas. I had the pleasure of speaking to a great group of Texans, and visiting with many business owners, mostly comprised of women. Alpine is the seat of Brewster County, the 39th largest land mass county in America, and largest in Texas. Brewster County also has some 192 miles of border with Mexico and talking to the law enforcement personnel there confirmed my concerns about border security, and the lack thereof. Friday I had the pleasure of doing a competitive shooting course with some really badass shooters, and I mean competitive three-gun types. I even had to try and shoot with my weak hand — left, of course — which I had not done since military days. That was not pretty! And, the last part of our stay in Alpine was the 28th annual Art Walk. As luck would have it in Alpine, I ran into a very nice woman from Odessa who had made a blanket for our grandson, Jaxton.

The last stop on the trip was to Beach City, Texas in Chambers County for the First Baptist Church Faith, Family, and Freedom Fair. Talk about going back to our fundamentals! How nice it was to have a crowd of families, BBQ, snow cones, popcorn, with prayer and talking about the Judeo-Christian faith heritage of our nation, and Texas.

Why do I give thanks? Because of the past week when I traveled the Lone Star State and looked into the eyes of folks who love God, Country, and Texas. The Army taught me that leaders don’t sit in the headquarters, they circulate the AO (area of operations) and see the troops. The people of Texas are the Troops that I would be honored to lead, you can only do that from the front, among the people who you serve. I am thankful for meeting every single Texan last week. Each one of them left an incredible impression upon me.

In closing, last year’s Thanksgiving was the first one without Angela’s mom, Patricia. This year will be the first one with our adorable six-month-old grandson, Jaxton Bernard. We give thanks for the very first unalienable right endowed to us by the Creator God: life . . . born and unborn.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! I will be frying two turkeys and a spiral ham . . . yes, nothing like friend spiral ham! Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and remember, we still live in the longest running Constitutional Republic that the world has ever known, America. And, a state that was first its own Republic, Texas . . . and both will stay a Republic, if we are thankful and decide to keep it!

Steadfast and Loyal,

Lt. Col. Allen B. West (Ret.)

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