Pence to West Point grads: Yeah, you're going to war

The good news is Vice-President Pence was not booed and there were no walk-outs in protest Saturday as he delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2019 at the U.S. Military Academy a.k.a. West Point. The bad news is that all of the graduates can expect to see combat during their military career, maybe sooner rather than later, thanks to our dangerous world.

It was Pence’s second time to attend a West Point graduation ceremony but his first time as commencement speaker. He said that the world is a dangerous place and they can expect to see combat, as they will become part of the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. Note that he described the terrorists in a way in which Democrats refuse to do.

The vice-president told them that President Trump is the military’s best friend and will always have their backs. The U.S. is the leader of the free world and this virtually guarantees that they will fight on a battlefield at some point in their career.

Pence noted that Mr. Trump has proposed a $750 billion defense budget for 2020 and said the United States “is once again embracing our role as the leader of the free world.”

“It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life,” Pence said. “You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen. Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere.”

Pence used a term often used by President Reagan, peace through strength. Pence did not serve in the military but he acknowledged his father, an Army veteran of the Korean War, now deceased.

Some history was made Saturday when the 5,000th woman graduated. The 2019 graduating class included the highest number of women graduates (223) and the largest number of black women graduates (34). The number of African-Americans graduating in this class doubled that of 2013’s number, with 110 graduates. And the academy’s 1000th Jewish cadet graduated in the Class of 2019.

Pence said the U.S. plans to send another 1,500 troops to the Middle East because of an increase in threats from Iran. Meanwhile, the option of military action against the Venezuelan dictator isn’t off the table and the war in Afghanistan continues. Frequent terrorist attacks in Iraq continue, too. Pence also mentioned the military is supporting the enforcement of our southern border.

Last year Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered the commencement speech at West Point. Traditionally, the most powerful leaders in America deliver the address to the cadets. In 2016 it was Joe Biden and in 2017 the speaker was then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.