Proud To Be An American

I planned to write about the beginnings of America for my Fourth of July blog post and I actually did refresh my memory on the first and second congress and write two pages. However, something happened yesterday that made me stop and think.

God bless America was a trending topic on Twitter. I glanced at it and eighty percent of the posts were Hot Sexy Girls Want To Meet You. One young lady from Canada rofl and said she guessed she’d wish us happy birthday even if we didn’t have free health care. Another young man purported to be from America and he apologized to the world because Americans are so arrogant. I was tempted, but I didn’t respond to him.

I’m an American. I’m proud to be American. I’m not apologizing for being an American.

In this speech, Oliver North talks about the modern American soldier. I hope you’ll listen to it because he gives a very moving picture of our soldiers and the story at the end does explain why we should be proud to be Americans.

In this picture Major Mark Beiger is carrying a wounded baby. The picture was shot by Michael Yon who was embedded with American troops. If you’ll read Micheal’s story about the picture, it’s hard not to cry for this soldier and baby. Insurgents attacked a convoy that was surrounded by children who had come out to wave at them. If they had waited another two blocks, the children would have been gone, but the terrorists took out as many of the children as they could also.

This soldier carried this baby in his arms to an American hospital where she’d get better care. Michael said he kept talking to her and crying. He kept encouraging her to fight, but she was wounded too badly and didn’t survive.

I’ve posted this picture before and you may know the story behind it. This little girl’s family was killed by terrorists. She was shot in the head also, but survived although she cried a lot and had terrible nightmares. Master Sergeant John Gebhardt noticed her and he started coming by to hold her. He’d take her to a quiet place and hold her to his chest so she’d sleep.

I’m sure most of you know the words to The Star Spangled Banner, but did you know the story behind it? Please listen to this. It will give you a different understanding of that beloved anthem.

I recently friended a young soldier on Twitter. Tim is working with the Afghan army to get them more organized and ready to assume the responsibilities they must if they are going to survive. Part of his program is finding out what makes these soldiers and interpreters want to do things. They love pictures of themselves. They like being recognized.

One of his programs is to have soldiers who have done a good job be rewarded with a ride on an Afghani helicopter and take a picture of them they can take home to their families and to also have that picture put in the ANA newsletter with their story. It doesn’t seem like much to us, but little things like this help win the war. It helps win the hearts of these soldiers who are daily threatened by terrorists who will gladly kill them or their families.

Interpreters don’t answer their cell phones when they are away from the base because they could be killed if someone hears them speaking English. One of them was killed when he was in a cab and answered the phone in English.

Tim is also trying to get the soldiers to run with him. So far he has one soldier who runs with him. PT is apparently a very foreign concept to them. He has another soldier who wants to run with him, but he doesn’t have shoes. Tim asked on Twitter if anyone would be willing to donate a pair of running shoes. Not only will it get that soldier running, but he thinks it will lure more of them into running with him if he can get more shoes and socks donated.

After he gets them running, he’s going to come up with some jodies in Farsi for them to sing while they’re running. PT is important, but for him, even more important, is the camaraderie it builds. He wants these men to bond into a unit.

He also asked for jeans for the men to work in. I asked him what kind of jeans and he said Levis or anything American. The Afghans love all things American. Will grew while he was in Iraq so he had a lot of Wranglers here that are nearly new. I asked Tim if they would take those and he was very excited.

“Anything American. They love America.”

I’m going to try and get some western cards to send with the clothes. I think the cowboy art would be a big hit. I’ll also try to track down some western shirts when this month is over.

This young man is a wonderful example of what America is. He could go in there and do his job. It would be easier if he did their jobs also, but he wants them to learn how to be self-sufficient. There are a lot of times he spends hours or days on a project that should take a few minutes, but he wants to Afghans to do it. He won’t always be there to do it for them.

I’d highly recommend you follow him on twitter where he’s known as @AfghanTim and follow his blog.

In closing, yes, I am proud to be an American. We were born of a fighting but generous spirit, and I think that’s a very good reason to be proud.


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