On this, the eve of America's 233rd birthday, I wanted to reflect for a bit on people that I am grateful for having served America.
My cousin Tom. He's a career military man. He served in the first Gulf War, in Bosnia, and has done two tours in Iraq. We are in a cluster of cousins 8 months apart in age. He is the oldest and I am the youngest. He is my hero.
My father. He was drafted and served in World War II. He never left California, though. I have his discharge papers that state "Foreign Service 0 years 0 months". He was stationed near Sacramento and had dinner every Sunday with his mother.
My friends Don & Elizabeth. They met in the Vietnam War. (How many people do you know who can say that?) He was a Naval Aviator. She was an Army Nurse. They met at a dance at an Air Force Officers' Club. Recently, they went back to Vietnam on vacation with some of their buddies from the war. I admire them greatly.
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
Happy Independence Day!
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