Constitution in Gardendale Under Attack! Does Oil Trump the 1st Amendment?

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

This was sent to the Odessa American. Read and decide for yourself. Did you take an oath to support, uphold and defend the constitution? If so, what will you do?

The oath still holds. On April 24, 1973 in El Paso, Texas, a slender young man raised his right hand and swore an oath. The place was the Armed Forces induction station. The oath; “I, Dan Boggs, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…so help me God.” At the time the words were incidental.  Two years in Navy engineering schools were not simply spent learning, they were spent supporting and defending.  Four years on the USS Enterprise were not spent simply tending that great ship’s atomic heart, they were spent supporting and defending. A stint in the Reserves was not spent simply drilling, it was spent supporting and defending. Six years as a civilian engineer for the Navy Department  were not simply spent overhauling naval nuclear power plants, they were spent supporting and defending. Over the decades I have come to understand the depth of those sacred words. While some believe the oath is no longer binding its grip on my soul has strengthened. It has known no endpoint and I will take it bound up in my heart to the grave. My father, uncles, brothers and son have taken that oath. I cannot disavow it. I thought my service to the oath ended years ago. I was wrong. At the age of 57 I am surprised to hear the oath calling me back to duty.

I live in Gardendale where a friend and resident is having rights, given by God and recognized by the constitution, threatened. He erected with other members of the Gardendale Accountability Project a memorial on his own land. An out of state oil company, apparently not liking the message, has started construction of a fence to obscure its view from Highway 158. The first reason they gave was ‘security’ for a nearby tank battery. The tank battery has had a fence around it for the last two years. Now they claim visitors to the memorial are leaving too much trash in front of their tank battery.  I believe their fence is a clear violation of my friend’s first amendment rights. Many may think this battle silly. However, if the constitution does not work in Gardendale, Texas for expression that may be unpopular and embarrassing to a multi-billion dollar oil company it does not work anywhere. If they can do this to an American citizen and Texan they can do it to anyone. It is true that this is ‘oil country’ but more importantly it is the United States of America. I must support my friend and his fight for what the constitution guaranteed him so long ago.You see, I took an oath. To see this story go to

Dan Boggs

President,  Gardendale Accountability Project

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