Everyone has a different opinion on what it means to be free. Free from pain, struggle, attachment, addiction, destruction and the list goes on and on. Days like today, remind me what I think it means to be free. I grew up in a very patriotic family. My grandpa served in the Navy and my father served in the Air Force. I always had a deep appreciation for everything that people serving in the military do on a daily basis. I was raised to put my hand over my heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, never let an American flag touch the ground and never, EVER let it be destroyed in a disrespectful manner. My parents did a great job of raising me to be an American.
This morning I woke up in my bed, that is in my room, which is in my house, which is my safe place. I laid there trying to comprehend what it would be like to wake up in a bed that was not surrounded by safe walls. To wake up in a place where I wasn’t free to get on my computer and write what was on my heart. To wake up and have the fear of not knowing if I would be safe from destruction today. Although we never fully know what will happen each day, no matter where you live, I do have a sense of safety because I live in the United States. The men and women in the military spend many sleepless nights and exhausting days to give me a feeling of security and for that I am eternally grateful.
I have had so many wonderful opportunities to travel in this great country of ours and am humbled by all I see. My parents made sure to take my sister and I to as many United States landmarks that they could. We were able to attend a 4th of July ceremony at Mount Rushmore, we visited my dads old Air Force base in South Dakota, and I was even able to visit Washington DC and the United States Naval Academy on my own trip. I have always had an appreciation for anything military related and find most of it fascinating.
As I sit here and write this blog, I am humbled by the thought of what today stands for. Memorial Day is not just an extra day off from work, or a great day for a store to have a sale. It goes much deeper than that. Days like today make me hug my dad a little tighter. I am forever grateful for his willingness to join the Air Force and support a cause much bigger than himself. He was willing to put his life on the line to keep someone else safe. He never asks for recognition and never expects anyone to thank him but today dad, I’m thanking you. You never talk about serving in a boastful manner and never stop to really think what a big deal it really is. You respect the flag, respect the military and respect our country and for that I am grateful. Thank you for being such a great American and for raising me to support the Red, White and Blue. I love you!
I hope you all have a wonderful day today, spend it with family and friends. Remember as you enjoy today, the men and women overseas who can’t be with their families. Say an extra prayer for them at your dinner table and tell them thank you if you can! A special thank you to the fallen soldiers and their families. I know I will never fully understand the struggle you all endure on a daily basis. I appreciate what your family members did and am humbled that they died for someone they don’t even know. They have my highest respect. I hope you all have a blessed day and enjoy!
God Bless America!
Here are some photos of my dad serving through the years! 🙂