I come from a long line of military service, so this special day always touches my heart. My father was in the US Army, my father-in-law was in the US Navy, my brother-in-law also in the US Army, another brother-in-law in the US Air Force, my brother is a former US Marine and the list goes on and on. It breaks my heart that we often take for granted the very things which most deserve our gratitude. My parents' town has lost 9 soldiers so far, a small number in comparison to some I'm sure, but the loss is still a great one. A sweet girl I grew up with lost her husband a week after their first son was born. He never had a chance to meet his baby boy. Ironically, he was set to come home for the delivery but decided to let two other soldiers go home before him. Today her little boy is a bouncy 5 year-old, and the splitting image of his father.
I've had many students who have had to deal with the deployment of one of their parent's and for those of you who know what I'm talking about, it's not easy. Three years ago, one of my students lost his father in Afghanistan. After that my little boy refused to come to school because his father would walk him to our front door each morning. My heart aches for the precious angels our soldiers leave behind.
On this day and everyday, I will always be proud to be an American, and I will always remember the huge sacrifices that our brave men and women take each day to protect the very thing we take for granted.
Land of the Free, Home of the Brave!