Early this morning, though, it came to me. I would blog about this particular Monday.
I've mentioned it before, but I'll do it again. I spent seven years in the United States Air Force. The joke is that the military taught me to "BS" my way out of anything. (Hey, I worked public relations....) My husband is retired Air Force. My uncle was a lieutenant in the Army during Viet Nam. Both of my grandfathers were in the Navy during WWII. My blood doesn't just run red, it's red, white, and blue.
And all those rights we have as U.S. citizens to speak our mind, worship how we want, vote for our leaders... well, they won't be worth the paper they're written on if someone before us hadn't fought for those rights and someone behind us is willing to make sure they're defended.
Today, I was able to welcome home one of those heros who put his life on the line to ensure my freedoms. And I do mean literally put his life on the line.
Specialist Branden Stackenwalt and his vehicle were hit with a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in September of 2009. Branden just came home today.
But he came home.
And I was there to see him as part of the Patriot Guard welcoming him
home. By the way, he's a great kid -- just 22 years old. He yelled at the riders without helmets (South Dakota doesn't have a helmet law) and then asked if we could find a spare one for him. He actually rode with a guy to his hotel as part of the convoy. I'm not sure he stopped smiling.
It doesn't matter to me if you think our troops should be where ever they are. Frankly, I don't care. It doesn't matter to me if you think our government is full of liars, crooks, and cheats. You're probably right. It doesn't matter to me if you voted for the other guy. I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it.
The US military has a tough job. One they can't quit whenever they want and they can't complain about in public. They give up some of their rights -- willingly! -- to defend ours. The least we can do is let them know we appreciate what they've done.