otis-manchester-young-25I’m one of the lucky ones . . my father came home to my mom after his tour in the Navy during the Korean War, and a few years later began his family with her. He was Navy through and through, a sailor who got to travel the world, experience life onboard a submarine, a carrier and in numerous ports of call. He learned much more about being an engineer beyond his classes at the university. I know he also grew up with discipline, which helped to make him the dedicated father and husband who always provided for his family and gave us his best. I got to know him into my 20’s, when he passed suddenly . . but he is my direct connection to what is good about this country and our military.

I truly marvel in the more adult years since at those who mock our military members, those who believe America is a bad place or those who think we don’t have any good in us. I know better . . for I have met others like my dad – too many to count. I imagine many of those who were either drafted or enlisted as kids usually, and died in service to this nation, were also a lot like my dad – dedicated defenders of what we stand for as a nation. And I am not going to ever let a day go by when I don’t C80414SubmarineForce2-vihold my country, our flag and our people up as one of pride for their sake!

Those who gave it all deserve the best from each of us in return, or their sacrifice means nothing. If we don’t hold on fast to the foundational principles which made us the bastion of freedom for the world, then they all died in vain. The United States of America stands together for freedom to this very day . . because of all of those who have fought and even died for that right. Please don’t ever let your heart as an American beat anything but red, white and blue . . for their sake as well as for all of those who now go off in service to this country. Be defenders of liberty just like they all were. It’s just as much our role as citizens as it was and is theirs. Freedom is the result of great burdens and infinite, unbearable costs . . but thank God, there are men and women who’ll take their turns nonetheless on the front lines defending it. We all should have that same love and devotion for this country in our hearts back home – as the freedom she provides is worth at least that level of gratitude in return!