Continuing our tour of the Bill of Rights, Article III (Amendment 3 – Quartering Soldiers – as it was written): “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
This amendment is a response to the very-unpopular British habit of taking over private homes to house their troops without any compensation. I believe that the underlying principle compels the federal and state governments to respect private property in general and if it becomes necessary to acquire said property, provide just compensation. This amendment flows right into the next, Article IV (Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure – as it was written): “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This Article was also in response to the heavy-handed treatment of the colonists by British government officials and officers; harassing searches, arrests, confiscations and seizures of private papers and possessions. All of the law concerning arrest or search warrants issued by a judge for specific persons or items of evidence are rooted in this amendment. Criminal cases have been dismissed due to violations of this amendment by officers of the court.

Next month we delve into the Amendments that protect the rights of citizens in criminal cases before the courts.
The Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Program is ongoing and will run through Veterans Day 2025. The main national objective of this program is to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam war, including U.S. military personnel who served anywhere in the world during the period of 1955 to 1974, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of those veterans. Several events are planned by veterans organizations in Texas County that will give all Vietnam War veterans a chance to be recognized and to receive a commemorative lapel pin and certificate.  To this end, American Legion Post 41 in Houston is planning a Freedom–Dog barbecue at the Lone Star Plaza during the Independence Day Parade on Saturday, June 26. The Freedom-Dogs will be offered free of charge with chips and bottled water while supplies last, and we’ll start serving at 4 p.m. 

We’ll have the Vietnam War commemoration pins and certificates there.

Veterans organizations in Houston:
•American Legion Post 41 meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the meeting hall on the west end of Chilton Oil Company in Houston (just north of Pizza Hut). Changes to membership eligibility now allow U.S. veterans of all branches and periods of service to join the American Legion.
•Fleet Reserve Association Branch 364 meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month at the American Legion Post 41 meeting hall in Houston. The FRA exists to serve all veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard.

Houston resident Robert E. Simpson is a retired U.S. Navy chief electronics technician who served from 1969 to 1990. Email

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