Today is the 4th of July. It is the day that we set aside in this country to celebrate our Independence Day. I am very proud to be an American. My parents instilled in my brother and me a powerful sense of patriotism, and love of this country. Most of all they instilled in us an appreciation for the opportunities that living in the greatest country in the world provided us. There is no other place on this planet that allows their citizens the freedom to live their lives the way that they choose to.
As a soldier, I had many opportunities to see firsthand the chaos that is life in other places. I have lived in Europe and the Middle East (just visiting, thanks). From Germany to Baghdad, I was well aware that I was a fish out of water. Even in such places as Ireland and Greece, I did not feel like I was home. They did not match up to life in America. Living in America affords us the opportunities to choose to recycle or join the military among many others. In other places, you are conscripted in military service to “pay” for your citizenship. While many other countries have followed in our footsteps and adopted a Constitution, ours is the only one that affords us a Bill of Rights and limits the power of our government.
On this day it is important to note the sacrifice of our brave men and women who serve in the military. I know, this is an unpopular stance. Many people believe that we know what we are signing up for when we decide to join. That may be true, however, someone must stand in the gap and post watch to keep the wolves from the door. We can’t all be sheep, there must be a sheepdog to keep us safe. As a retired soldier, I am aware of the sacrifice that comes from service to this country. The scars are ever present but, on this day, veterans across this country understand and appreciate the freedom that this country has to offer on a much deeper level than most of the citizens. It is not because we are better than our countrymen, but because we have witnessed the cost of freedom with our own eyes.
So, today when you go to your barbeques and fireworks display enjoy yourselves. Also, take a moment to say a quiet thank you to all the people who thought that freedom was worth defending. I will be with my lady friend and her family eating enough food to kill a man, yet my mind will be with those that can’t be home to enjoy their families. As I end this blog, remember the families of the those deployed as well. Deployments take a toll upon the fabric of marriages and the children that are involved. God knows that they can use all the prayers that we can say for their protection and strengthen their marriages and children. God bless you all and Happy Independence Day!