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  • Writer's pictureTina Huggins

A salute to our troops…

About seven years ago my daughter meet a handsome man whom she married four years ago. This young man was on leave from fighting in Afghanistan. He had just finished his four year tour of duty and was enrolled in college. That dream was blocked by the invasion of Iraq. He shipped out in the first wave for another 8 months.

My father fought in WWII and was in the Air National Guard so I have always been proud of the men who protect our country, but that understanding never really hit my heart until Matt went to Iraq. How blessed we were to get him home. I am so terribly proud of his bravery, as well as his desire to protect and defend our country.

As Olivia and I were glued to the television on a daily basis for any information that might let us know how he was doing, I gained a new appreciation for the men and women who keep us safe defending our country as well as the families that live this stress day in and day out. I am a firm believer that until one walks in the shoes of others, it is difficult to really appreciate many things in life.

As I travel there isn’t a day that I don’t see service men and women on my flights, or in my hotels. I make it a practice to thank any soldier I pass. Last week, I sat next to an officer at breakfast and thanked him for his service. He said “Thank you so very much. We used to hear this during Iraq, but it is not said much anymore.”

Shame on us as Americans. I was embarrassed that he had to share that with me. We live in a country in which we can say “No” to serving in the military…those that go…VOLUNTEER. Today, we remember those that have given their lives for our freedom. Let’s not forget after Memorial Day to say thank you when you see someone in uniform. They appreciate it more than you can imagine…we are indeed blessed to have those who feel called to serve our United States. God bless America.

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