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Happy Birthday, America

Today we celebrate America’s birthday.  

245 years old.

She looks a little aged. Maybe a little worn out. I think she might have piqued too early and has been living off just her reputation for far too long. When’s the last time she united the country?

We fought each other during a worldwide global pandemic.

Not a single one of us could have marched, wrote or yelled about our issues with our country without the 1,281,269 American citizens who died defending this country. 

American Revolutionary War: 4,435

War of 1812: 2,260

American Mexican War: 1,733 

Civil War: 650,000 (estimated)

Spanish American War: 385

World War I: 116,516

World War II: 405,399

Korean War: 36,574

Vietnam: 58,220 (estimated)

Gulf War: 383

Iraq and Afghanistan Wars: 5,364

The ones fighting America’s wars aren’t even responsible for the conflicts, but they fight anyway.

Fathers. Sons. Brothers. Nephews. Uncles. Sisters. Mothers. Daughters. Nieces. Aunts. Cousins.

The youngest American to die in war?

Dan Bullock in 1969 at the ripe age of fifteen. He lied on his enlistment form and served as a United States Marine in the Vietnam War. He died serving our country before he could buy a pack of smokes or legally drink a beer. His gravesite was unmarked until the year 2000.

These military members are not numbers on a screen or pictures in a book. These were real souls, humans, people, Americans, who died so we could protest the overreach of our institutions or debate which pizza is the best with hashtags from our pocket phones.

I know the military has been far from perfect. Downright abusive, even. Men have taken advantage of their power and the system to commit horrible crimes while serving in the military. Some crimes against our own American citizens.

War isn’t nice, but that doesn’t mean we can’t treat people as human beings. 

I know I can’t defend our military institutions. They’re flawed, no doubt.  

But I can certainly praise the American people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. And the Americans who continue to put their lives on the line for our way of life. 

I can’t claim to know all the reasons people join the military, and I’m sure there are some who do it for the wrong reasons, but most are outstanding American citizens who love our country a little more than you and I.

Hell, they’re the ones willing to die for it.

With their actions, not their words.

That, and without our military, we’d be speaking Russian or Mandarin within a week.

Probably less. 

For that, I say thank you for all who paid with their blood for America’s pursuit of a more perfect union.

Praise for those who fought in wars and came back home, often without reward or even thanks.

Thank you for all those who continue the defend the freedoms I take for granted every day.

I hope there comes a time in the world where we don’t need militaries, but I can’t fathom that reality.

And without our brave service people, and those volunteering with their life for our freedoms, America will never celebrate another birthday.

Happy birthday, America.

Published inBlogSurviving America as a Millennial

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