Thursday, November 12, 2009

Surviving my first term...

Well, here we are with less than three weeks until school is out. Am I stressed? ABSOLUTELY! Why? Because I have so much to do, and am running out of time to finish my projects and classwork. It is really not as bad as I make it out to be: however, I am doing my best. Jim is away at BCNOC (hope I spelled that one correctly) so he is not able to assist myself with the boys. So I find myself up until late at night studying after the boys are in bed. My grades are fine, but it is my dedication to continue with being a strong student that matters the most. I am the example for my children. If I do not do well in school, why should they? Class is out now, so I am going to head and pick up the baby. And then off to the house so he can nap and I can do homework.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Every night as the sun sets, there are soldiers who sit in foreign countries protecting our futures by risking their own lives’. From those selfless acts comes one simple word that puts a sense of pride into one’s heart, which would be patriotism. Patriotism is defined in the dictionary as a devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty. The straightforward act of patriotism can be seen wherever one may turn, but can also be felt inside when faced with the many trials and tribulations of life.

Patriotism is the pride of a soldier who walks with his head up and shoulders straight while he or she is in uniform. For many soldiers, patriotism is a sense of honor, integrity and respect to know that they are strong enough to leave their loved ones behind to go to war and defend our great nation. For others it is a sense of loyalty, duty and selfless pride that leads them within their patriotism. Upon hearing the word patriotism, SSG Veny Castillo sees in his mind, “The American flag over a dark ocean of stars in the sky, and fire on the water.”

Patriotism can be the many American flags that are displayed in the neighborhood windows to show support for our troops. It can be the way people tear up when they hear Lee Greenwood singing “Proud to be an American”. It can be the seventy year old veteran hoisting the American flag every morning and lowering it at dusk on the flag pole they erected in their own front yard. It can be the family who sits at a restaurant and secretly pays for the meal of a Vietnam veteran in the next booth to silently say “thank you” for all they had sacrificed when they went to war for our freedoms and liberty. It can be just a simple hand shake, or the words “thank you for your service” when a soldier in uniform is seen in public.

Patriotism is the sound of a bugle playing “Reveille” as the sun rises and “Retreat” as dusk encompasses us. It is the standing out of respect with hand on heart as children say “The Pledge of Allegiance.” It is an entire nation that weeps at tragedy when a soldier returns home one last time in a flag draped wooden casket. It is the deafening applause from on-lookers as a group of dirty, tired soldiers deplane upon return from fighting in a foreign country.

Patriotism is the sound of cheers as crowds all over the United States celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks booming overhead. It is the way complete strangers band together and support each other when traumatic events occur and thousands of people die for no reason. It can be the way a community comes together to support a young widow and her children when an officer and chaplain appear at the door bearing the news that her soldier has died. It can be a simple touch on the hand from one military spouse to another that silently states, “You are not alone even though your soldier is gone.”

Patriotism can wear many hats, and is never the same from one event to the next. People are taught from birth to support their great country and the many people around themselves. Some choose to do so from their front porches. Others choose to join the military and serve overseas or in various war zones. Many wear their patriotism in the way they walk with pride because they are American. Others show it by the ways they volunteer their time and energy to various charities that support soldiers and their families. But no matter what is said, felt, heard, or seen; patriotism will live in our hearts until it beats no more.