Regardless where in the world you live, you’ve likely seen the news in the past week. I saw a post yesterday that declared, “I’m honestly so ashamed to be an American,” and it made me think.
We live in uncertain times.
World War 3 is trending on Twitter. Missiles are being launched. Troops have been activated and are rapidly deploying to some of the most turbulent regions of the world on short notice. Mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers are standing at arms, ready to defend both America and the free world against terrorism, yet dissent still remains. In spite of this, I am still proud to be an American.
I’ve seen the keyboard warriors, and I’ve read the comments. Derision, blame, hatred, and cynicism run rampant, fueled by already ominous times. And still, our troops walk toward the danger with their heads held high. Because that’s what they do. They uphold our freedoms and our values. They shoulder the burden so we don’t have to. Because of this, I’m proud to be an American.
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone knows what we should do, and everyone seems to have the right answer. Regardless of opinions and politics, or what politicians, social media, or Hollywood have to say, however, our troops continue to press forward. They write living wills in their 20’s, when they should be enjoying parties or pondering college credits. They kiss their children goodbye while they’re sleeping, praying to whatever God they believe in that they’ll make it home to give them another. They walk away from creature comforts to a world that’s unknown, terrifying, and cold, all so we don’t have to. And I’m proud to be an American, standing beside my soldier who is always ready to sacrifice.
I feel for the Iranian people who have yet to taste the freedoms we have. I feel for the Iraqi people who wish the fighting would stop. I feel for the Afghan people who wonder if it will ever end. I feel for the Americans who are war-weary and wary of yet another fight. I feel for my fellow military spouses as they brace themselves for the potential of what’s to come. I feel the world, as we seem to fight social, political, and environmental unrest from every side. And I understand. It’s exhausting. It’s terrifying. It’s relentless. And yet, I’m still proud to be an American with the freedom to say what I feel.
In a world filled with fear-mongering and hate, I still believe in America, and I believe in our ability to overcome and prevail. I believe that peace can be created, had, and enjoyed by all, and I understand that the best things are hard-earned and, too often, even harder won. That makes me proud to be an American because I know that my neighbors in this lifestyle – this brother and sisterhood of the military – stand fast and stand strong.
Yes, we live in uncertain times, but one thing remains certain. Our men and women in uniform will continue to uphold the honor and integrity of our nation. Of our flag. Of what freedom truly means.
And yes, I am still proud to be an American.