I grew up in a small town, where the closest military base was more than seven hours away. Needless to say, there was not a strong military presence. For whatever reason, I still felt drawn to the military community and was always patriotic, even at a young age. I even wrote a letter to POW Jessica Lynch when I was 13. She responded, and I still have the letter she sent me. Marrying a man in the military has enhanced my patriotism more than I thought possible! At any given time of the year, I wear patriotic clothing. To me, red white and blue are always fashionable. In college, I coordinated three card-making drives to send to deployed marines overseas. Now that I live and work in DC, I'm surrounded by the military community and American pride. Each morning on my drive to work, I pass by the monuments. I hope there never comes a time where I pass by the Washington monument and am not awestruck (even if its covered in scaffolding like it is now).
I truly believe that the US is the best country there is. Our history is so noble. I am so thankful to live in a community that appreciates the military and honors their commitment to freedom. I'm thankful for the opportunities my husband and I have had growing up and now in our adult lives in this country. I'm especially greatful for the many benefits brought to our family through my husband's service. Even though sequestration effects have caused several 4th of July events in our area to be canceled or downsized, I still plan on going all out to recognize and celebrate our Independence. I am so thankful and proud to be an American.