Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Proud To Be American

With the 4th of July weekend behind us, I'd like to take these patriotic times to remember our military families.  Often times it seems that we, Americans, become complacent with our patriotism when we believe things in our country are "calm".  It is easy to forget our soldiers overseas when it seems like things in our country are safe.  The attack on American soil on September 11, 2001 brought many Americans to tears, their knees to pray, and it seemed like many more American flags were flying high and proud.

Please remember, we are still at war.  Our American men and women in the armed forces continue to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other countries around the world.  While we enjoy BBQs and family get togethers, there are military families in this great country that sit hopefully waiting for phone calls from their loved ones overseas.  It is my personal belief that one of the reasons non military families can easily forget the military families is due to the lack of complaining on the part of the military family.  Sleepless nights waiting and worrying, minimal paychecks, and many unknowns, often times are never heard because the wife that experiences all these things, knows, her husband has it much worse and never says a word (it may also be a husband thinking of his deployed wife).  Additionally, there are millions of military children that face the stress of having parents deployed.

So, in honor of this Fourth of July holiday, take some time to reflect on our freedoms and how you can support the troops.

  • When you see an elderly person with an embroidered hat proudly stating VETERAN, simply say, "Thank you for your service."  A quick, genuine "Thank you" goes a long way and is often times greatly appreciated.   
  • If you know of a military family in your community, offer to send a care package while their service person is deployed.  For $12.95 you can fill a box a full as possible and send it to any soldier overseas.  
  • Even if you do not know a military family, reach out to a local VFW and inquire about you can support our troops. 
  • One of my favorite organizations for mental health professionals to become involved in is Give An Hour. This is a non-profit organization that provides free mental health services to US military members and their families.  Mental health professionals can easily become providers associated with this wonderful organization and donate an hour of their time, or more, to a service member in need of services.  
These simple suggestions can make a huge difference in the lives of many people.  What does the Fourth of July mean to you?  Have you ever thanked a soldier?  

Please remember our soldiers and veterans!  They have stood up for what is right and just.  They have allowed us all, to feel proud of our land of the free and home of the brave!