Distinguished military graduate addresses Robert C. Byrd Forum

Lt. Gen Anthony G. Crutchfield, a 1982 distinguished military graduate from Marshall University, talked about his passion for the U.S. Constitution Friday during the seventh annual Robert C. Byrd Forum.

Crutchfield emphasized during his presentation the everyday practicality of the Constitution through his own life experiences, addressing trivia and little known facts and allowing the audience to ask questions.

“I live [the Constitution] each and every day,” Crutchfield said. “It’s a part of my everyday life.”

Since the beginning of his military career, Crutchfield said he has promised to support and defend the Constitution through service and through the education of fellow soldiers and citizens.

He said many soldiers he has worked with have not studied the Constitution, and Crutchfield said he hands them a miniature printed version of the document to read every time.

In Crutchfield’s 35 years of military service, he has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak clusters and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, among others. Crutchfield is currently serving as the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Senior political science and literary studies major and presidential ambassador Chris Eddy said promoting civic responsibility, the topic of the afternoon’s forum, is extremely important for college students, especially at this time of the electoral year.

“I think it’s really clear that we need events like these to get people thinking and to get people involved,” Eddy said. “It affects your life, whether you think so or not.”

Eddy said his political background and personal interest really motivate him to encourage other students to get involved and spark their interest in the ideology behind the U.S. political system.

The Francis Booth Experimental Theater was filled with students, faculty and staff, members of the military and student ROTC members. Only standing room was available by the time the forum began.

“I challenge you all here today,” Crutchfield said. “I challenge you to read and understand your nation’s constitution. There are people all over who want what we have, and you’ve got it!”

Brooke Estep can be contacted at [email protected].