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God Bless America

I have recently been a bit nostalgic, as five years ago this year I lost my father and his 80th birthday would have been next week. My father was very patriotic and served this country in the military and I recently spoke with a friend of mine who is a Marine.
My friend, Mike, is no longer actively serving, however, I was raised knowing that you are never a former Marine, a person is always a Marine.
Talking with Mike a while back I thanked him for his service to this nation and, knowing my father served in the Corps before him, explained that it was my father and those who served before him, in all branches of the military, who need to be thanked.
It was their service and sacrifice that allowed him the opportunity to serve this country.
That struck me the other day....the opportunity.
Having the chance to do something is what makes this nation great. Having the opportunity to be rich, poor, famous, helpful or destructive to society is ours in America. We live in the greatest nation ever conceived and as such, it is our responsibility to make sure this nation carries on for future generations.
This is pretty easy to do: vote, be a good citizen by taking your passion, your ideals and your ideas and lead in your community. Make change happen through the legal means and protect your interests without impeding on the rights of others.
I can openly say these things because of the Freedom of the Press. I do not have to worry about ‘disappearing’ or being censored for the words I write.
A relative recently spoke out about being cursed and how nothing good ever goes right. I knew they were down and told them this: “Punch life in the face and start knocking obstacles out of your way. You have air in your lungs, blood in your veins, a roof over your head, a loving family and a good shot at seeing another tomorrow. A good day is a day above ground.”
It goes back to opportunity. We have the opportunity to face each day sullen or upbeat. We can choose to let the world get to us or we can choose to shrug it off.
Again, we live in a country where that choice each and every day is ours alone to make. Many countries choose your career, religion, what you say, how you say it and when you say it. I can see how living in oppression can lead to depression.
Noting that, it is the human condition, mentally and physiologically, to suffer from bouts of being blue. However, we live in a nation that has the means of getting out of a funk, either by medical care or choosing to do something to get you out of the mood. This nation allows us the opportunity to choose to seek help, have an extra scoop of ice cream or stay in a bad mood.
Just knowing that we have the chance to fix this nation, the chance to turn things that are wrong with America around is up to us as citizens. We have the opportunity to make a new way, as citizens, we need to be the first in line to do so.
I remember the words of former President Ronald Reagan:
“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And that makes us special among the nations of the earth.”