Somewhere today, a family is loading bathing suits and sunscreen in a suitcase, preparing for a vacation adventure on the beach. Somewhere else, a military family is packing boxes with everything they own, preparing to start a new adventure in another new city in another new state.
While we fight for a good spot on the beach to see the fireworks show, thousands of our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends, and neighbors are spending our nation’s birthday fighting for their lives and our freedoms.
Instead of chasing fireflies in the backyard with their kids or dunking the winning basket in a game of pick-up basketball, many of our wounded heroes will be exerting every ounce of energy to learn to walk again.
Freedom isn’t free.
But every day, millions of men and women are willing to pick up the tab so that the rest of us can enjoy the rights and privileges that we often take for granted.
The least we can do is pay the gratuity.
Although bumper stickers, yard signs, and a patriotic Facebook status for the 4th are nice, we all can do a little more.
This is a link to a number of organizations who support our troops and their families. This list certainly isn’t conclusive. For example, one organization that wasn’t listed is the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that provides assistance to severely injured service members. Click on a few and find some practical ways you can make a difference in the lives of those who have chosen to serve our country. Involve your children. It isn’t enough to teach them that today is our country’s birthday; we need to make sure they know that many have given and continue to sacrifice so that we can celebrate today.
Others paid the price for your freedom today. Will you at least pick up the tip?