Tomorrow, millions of people will celebrate America’s birthday. There will be BBQ’s, beach fun, hot dogs and hamburgers. Families will light their sparklers and flock to watch spectacular firework shows with God Bless America playing in the background.
There is nothing more American and more sacred than the 4th of July.
But, while we are having fun laughing and making memories, men and women across the world will be protecting us. They will be standing watch, making rounds, sitting at a desk waiting for a phone to ring. They will be armed, they will be alert, and they will be silently waiting for someone to make a wrong move.
They’ve got the con.
To my military men and women across the world, I have been you before. I know what it feels like to sacrifice the celebration for duty. Sometimes, as an individual, you will fail to remember your role in the bigger picture. You might wonder, is manning this phone or radio really that important? Is standing at this gate for 12 hour shifts at a time, checking ID’s, really necessary? Is my small role, my minor presence, is it even noticed?
Let me tell you Sailor, Marine, Airmen, and Soldier, it is. Your role is important. Your contribution is necessary. Your sacrifice is noticed. Whether you are an E-1 making rounds at the barracks while everyone is out on liberty, or an O-4 sitting in the control room watching the screens, you are important.
I know duty can seem mundane, it can seem endless, and there are days when it is just downright slow. It’s easy to look on and be envious of your co-workers enjoying their time off while you were lucky enough to be scheduled for watch, but know this, we need you. Our country can only enjoy this day with the knowing and understanding that you are there watching and protecting us.
With the threats that exist in this world, we can’t celebrate without you. The only thing standing between our freedom and the threat is you.Your integral role means that our having the freedom to celebrate our independence depends entirely on your sacrifice. So, though it might be in a different setting, sans the hot dogs and fireworks, in serving your duties on this day you are actually celebrating independence with us.
Thank you for your sacrifice.