The Star Spangled Banner brings tears to my eyes… every time. Monday mornings are special because I stand with Cullen through the assembly where the entire school (and me) says the Pledge of Allegiance. I make sure he takes his hat off and places his hand over his heart. When we see a member of our military in uniform I teach him to shake their hand and express gratitude for their service. Being a soldier means more to us than the latest shoot-em-up video game. Our family has a rich tradition of service. Mike’s dad served in the Army during Vietnam. My step-dad is a decorated (I assume he’s decorated… because of all the ribbons and shiny medals) 20-year Marine veteran. My uncle is currently serving in the Air National Guard, and my little sister (the one my dad told me to always watch out for and protect) is in Afghanistan right now! Most days I still can’t believe it, but I am so very proud of the commitment she made and the grace she has protecting the freedoms that I hold dear. My family has had servicemen in every generation, some lost in action, and if you go far enough back I’ve heard that you will find General Robert E. Lee. (Not the side of the war I would have wanted to be on, but he was a gentleman nonetheless).
Every national holiday starts a conversation with the boy about what it’s for. There are no “just a day off to drink” holidays for us. We give thanks, we read the Christmas story, we study Martin Luther King Jr, and we thank our Active Duty servicemen and our veterans. Today we’ll talk about why Aunt Shoui is in Afghanistan, and what kinds of things our troops defend and protect. And while his haircut may not be exactly by the book he still wanted to show me (in fatigues) what soldiers do.
From the bottom of our red, white and blue hearts.. Thank you for your service.