Growing up, I loved to hear about my fathers years in the Marines. He didn’t talk much about it, but I could always see in his eyes what it meant to him.

I was taught to fly the flag and never let it touch the ground.

I learned the proper way to fold and store the American flag.

I always stand and put my hand across my heart for the National Anthem and the Pledge Of Allegiance.

I understood that real people died for our freedom. I grew up with boy whose father died in Vietnam. He was my brother’s best friend.

I looked up to my father with great admiration as a girl and still do as a woman. I respect his opinion and want him to be proud of me, because I am proud of him.

I always knew that I would only marry a man who has served our nation, and I did! He’s an ex-Navy man. He’s my Pittsburgher who was station in California, and that’s where he found me.

He’s a very humble man who is very serious about his love of this country and the freedom we enjoy.

He’s a dedicated father and a wonderful husband and I am truly blessed.

My brother also served in the Navy and he’s also a wonderful father and patriot.

I have a cousin who has been over-seas more times that I can remember. I remember talking to him when he was home one time and his stories where incredible. He actually thanked ME for what I do and I couldn’t believe it. I know he carries a lot of pain in his heart, but I think his dedication and pride in America outshines the hurt.

When I see men and women in uniform, I always thank them personally.

I pray for the men and women serving our nation daily and I never miss an opportunity to hug a mother who has sent her child into danger for my freedom.

I watched my father cry when my daughter played the Marine Corp song on the piano and I tear-up every time I watch footage of a parent surprising their children when they return home from months away.

These people who serve and these families who sacrifice deserve our respect EVERY day.

Remember to honor them today and tell your children how important they are to our nation and our freedom.

Thank you Dad for raising me to respect and appreciate the cost of freedom and thank you to all of you who have in the past and still do serve our nation. God Bless America.

Happy Veterans Day! Ally


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