We grew up knowing the day of parades and fireworks, tons of family and the summer heat. When we got into elementary school we learned that it is really Independence Day and all the history behind it. Now I look back and remember all the chapters I had to read and quiz on about war and the fight for our freedom. I was never really a history buff and I did what I had to do to pass the class.
I haven't been through a deployment with Superman, but I have with my little brother. Living it first hand brings a lot of things to mind that I wished I would have taken the time to think about. Years ago some wonderful men gave up everything they had so that we could start this country and now today there are many wonderful men and women who uphold that love and dedication. They kiss their spouses, hug their mothers and promise their kids that they will be home as soon as they can. As they hop a plane and head over seas to the sandbox they have in that instant gone into survival mode. It's no longer mowing the lawn and wrangling the kids, they fight for not only themselves but every one of us every second they are gone, while they miss every second of home. Care packages, skype dates and phone calls become their only life lines to the family and friends that they hold in their heart because they may be gone for a couple months or over a year. It's not easy on them. It's not easy on their family. They are the reason you can protest gays and stand up for women's rights, the reason you get to live where you want and decide how many children you want to raise and the reason you get to love whomever you desire.
So tonight when you lay your head down and every night after this remember why you are so lucky. You are lucky in the life you live because someone is out there missing their family so you can have dinner, sleep next to and go on vacation with yours. Tomorrow when the veteran walks by with the flag and the Star Spangled Banner is blared across the speakers; stand up, put your hand over your heart and say a prayer and a thank you for every man and woman past, present and future that has made this country what it is.
I am thankful for every single one of them and now living the life of a Army fiance I understand the hard times, the struggle and the patience it takes to make the job he loves possible. I am so proud of my soldier and all that he will do. It may not be easy every day, but it is definitely all worth it.
And remember that there are fire watches and firework bans for a reason! Do not be the reason another family loses a home or another farmer loses his crops and livestock! Be safe!
Love, strength and gratitude,