That is AMERICA.

If you’re scrolling through social media today, you have probably seen posts about the American troops that have rapidly deployed in big numbers this week. I don’t know the statistics, but it seems like it has been a while since we’ve seen this kind of quick reaction and deployment on such a scale as 3,000+ troops. And the reactions are already rolling in…

I don’t watch much of the news as a general rule when it comes to military movements and events. I have a pretty reliable source for that – and while so many people are reposting articles about the soldiers leaving, talking about how the block holiday leave has been interrupted for so many, and expressing their concern for our troops and their families… still others persist with yet another reason to disagree and cast blame.

Watching video of the soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division march out on that airfield, army green against a beautiful blue sky, with that ominous C-17 looming in the background, I get goosebumps. Knowing where they are headed, my eyes fill with tears. The ones taking those pictures, watching those soldiers walk away from them, make my heart ache. Writing these words I am filled with so many memories of the same and my first instinct is to squeeze those tears back and pray every prayer I’ve got for their safe return.

You know what else I feel though? Maybe it’s just me, but I hope not. It’s so hard to describe, but I’ll try…

Those men and women in uniform – walking away from their holiday break, their families, their homes and neighborhoods, their daily comforts, their way of life – represent a level of pride and hope that you can’t put words to. They come from different backgrounds, neighborhoods, and beliefs. They don’t all follow the same sport or have the same favorite team. They might like country music or hip hop or Chopin. They probably voted for different people and have plenty to say about the state of politics in this country. Yet somehow, miraculously, these thousands of diverse human beings are all walking together under a blue sky towards an unknown outcome. Why.

Because that is AMERICA.


AMERICA means our military men & women stand ready and willing to hop that C-17 to God knows where or what, because they believe that this country and this way of life are WORTH THE RISK. You. Me. Our children. Millions of people these men & women will never set eyes on – we are worth it. Imagine believing in something with such conviction that you are willing to set aside what and who you hold most precious and say, “ME. I will go.”

Just a take a moment, please. Imagine squeezing the hand of the girl of your dreams – the woman you married, made a family with and fought through all the ups and downs with – the late nights & early mornings, long drives, unexpected changes, the fights, the firsts, the holidays, the plans, the losses, the unexpected bumps and the best days ever, imagine squeezing her hand one more time, kissing her one more time, looking into those eyes as familiar as your own – one. more. time. – Maybe a wink. Maybe a nod. “Be right back.” And then walking away with only the hope of coming back to her and all the promises you made to each other. What conviction would it take? What bravery? What strength?

TELL ME. Who among us can say we would take the risk?

You’re looking at them. On your newsfeeds and Facebook walls. Those faces you don’t know and never will. The eyes that are watching them walk away that you will never have to face. THEY walk boldly away from the dreams and opportunities the rest of us will continue to tuck safely under our pillows tonight with our prayers. THAT. IS. AMERICA. That is pride built on something more than the opinions, politics, politicians, or whatever social movement of the day is current. Without them, there are no causes, no opportunities, and no dreams to unfold.

Do you feel it yet? Do you feel the power in their choice to STAND and GO? I do. And it doesn’t make me sad. It makes me shake with pride and cry tears of gratitude that I can bear witness to such unbelievable selfless SERVICE and COURAGE. That I should be worthy of such bravery. That this country, so treacherously & hatefully divided, should be so unified by them. Do you feel it? Can you see it? THAT. IS. AMERICA.

HOPE. These stories and pictures shouldn’t inspire deeper disagreement or finger pointing or blame. They should inspire HOPE. That is what I feel when I see those pictures and find myself smiling at them – no matter the state of the country, the politics, or who sent them – THEY. GO. For us. For all of us. That kind of love and conviction should be celebrated & emulated. It should UNITE us. It should inspire us to make THEIR AMERICA a better place.

Take notice. Smile for them. Cry for them. Pray for them. Believe in them. Wait for them.

125 thoughts on “That is AMERICA.

  1. The other day while watching news clips on YouTube about what is taking place recently with Iran I posted to my Facebook but nothing and nobody would prevent me from going back in if we go to war with Iran. And since none of you know me or my story I was medically retired in 2015 as a result of the loss of my leg. I only recently began walking after losing my leg in 2013. And though I am barely able to walk very long without severe discomfort in pain and it is unlikely the Marine Corps Will re-up me as I was medically retired and not placed on the reserves… If it came down to it and this country asked I would go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sgt Fletcher, thank YOU for your service AND continued willingness to defend the U.S. It is because of you and others like you that we are FREE. And as the Mom of a Marine, I am so grateful for you all.

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    2. Your amazing!!! I don’t know you or anymore of your story…. but your words are incredible to me! Your the kind of person that fills my heart with joy and I hope my boys grow to be as strong as you someday! Thank you! Your incredible and honorable!!

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  2. You have a beautiful way with words! As an Army wife and mama, I’ve said “see ya later” way too many times. And as I’ve said the farewells, I’ve prayed like I was the only one talking to God. My heart swells with pride as I see these true Americans heading off to foreign soil. My prayers go out to all of them and all of their families. Godspeed to you ❤️

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  3. Don’t know what to add have grandchildren and family friends who are active or in the reserve the people who send the young one’s too WAR should be there too thank them for going and see what price they pay it is hard too put old yesterday’s from the past in the past ask them when they come back

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  4. May God Bless and keep these young folks that sacrifice so much for our country. We need to pay them the salaries of our Congress and pay Congress their salaries!

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  5. I have no word that could fully convey the feelings I had while reading this. We live near a
    National Guard and I watch planes come and go every day. Now, more than ever I wonder if the men & women on those planes are headed to a war zone. I know they chose to do this and God knows I’m appreciative of each of the them but my heart goes out to them, none the less. We often forget the ones left behind. Life goes on, loved ones die, children are born, accidents happen, people have operations, grow older. Children often graduate high school or college without the presence of a significant person in their lives.
    It’s time we stop and think about these men & women who serve and their contribution to our country. We cannot begin to thank them enough. We need to take a few minutes each day thank God for these brave men and women who put their life on the line everyday so that we can be safe!!

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  6. These brave men and women are our true Americans and I love and support them with every fiber of my being. I have my own memories of ones I loved going off to Vietnam. One came back And one didn’t. My prayers go out the same to the young men and women CJ as they did years ago. All of them in my thoughts and prayers and each and everyone of them significant.

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  7. God Bless our Military!! Without out them the official language spoken in the USA today would be either German or Japanese! God Bless America and freedom!

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  8. This is a very good…no, It’s a great read and worth the time to read it!!!

    I’ve been to The Persian Gulf, I’ve been to Iraq, I’ve been to Afghanistan and I’ve been to a few other places and now I’m retired but, If it came down to it and this country asked I would go to again because That Is America and that is what I stand for until the day I die!!!

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  9. May God bless you and keep you safe everyone of you. You are the stem, the strength, the base, the very soul of our great America. The sacrifices you and your loved ones make for the rest of us is so unbelievable and unselfish. My dad is a Navy Vet from the Korean War and even though he is 88 years old, he stated last night, “If they would take me instead of one of those young men or women, I’d go in a heartbeat”. That’s how much you all mean to our country. Prayers and hugs to you all. See ya later.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words. Our son is actively serving in the Marines, his contract will end in May! I thank all our Military for their services and the families for the sacrifices we make.

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  11. I served for 30 years and my husband served in Viet Nam in the Marines then the Air Force for another 18 years. What many people never see are the tears of farewell to often shed, the missed birthdays, anniversaries, and even your daughter’s graduation and her senior year. I missed all of that and more because I was the one on a remote for 12 months while my husband took care of home because he was already retired. I prayed to God that they would be okay while I was gone. People don’t see what it takes to get you home on emergency leave when your parent dies. But we did it because we love our conuntry and the freedoms we enjoy.

    It breaks my heart to see the men and women boarding that plane and the next news clip is of people marching against the war. They say our President dips putting us at war. No.l.we have been at war since 9/11 came to our front door. We were at war when our embassies were bombed in Africa and Kenya. We were at war when the USS Cole was bombed. So problems over there are not new. I just hate that our allies are caught in the middle of it because they live there….wherever “there” is.

    Instead of this country being at odds with each other and taking sides in politics we need to come together and support these men and women who give their all so they have the freedom to march.

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  12. I have been the “wife”, “mama” watching as my loved one walked away. May God Bless each of those serving & of those who love the ones leaving. This doesn’t matter of gender, belief or any other subject noted – this is about our loved ones leaving, going where sent & of their loved ones waiting behind to wait, watch & pray for the heroes returning. Keep those prayers coming for both groups. If you know one of these please, let them know they are loved & prayed for.

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  13. I remember the feeling as We said goodbye to our son leaving for 9 months to Iraq. Proud of him & all those brave men & women who fight for our freedom & our great USA. Prayers for their safe return . thanks for your service

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  14. So very well said. Thanks so much for sharing. God bless you and God bless all of our service men and women. Proud of all of them and proud to be an American.

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  15. So beautifully said. I also am so proud of all of our troops and I hope and pray that every American reads this and it touches them to act somehow. I will be putting yellow ribbons around my trees and my porch columns and all flags are going up!!

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  16. God be with each of you as you go to the unknown. You may be scared, anxious, excited or all of them, but your service to this great country of ours is appreciated by this retired Air Force Chief Msgt’s wife who’ve been where you are right now. Not literally, but each time we moved to a new base, I felt all of the feelings I mentioned. I pray for your safety and that you will have a wonderful New Year. Thank you for your service!

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  17. I love your words! Wow! I can’t imagine the emotions for our military or their family! I appreciate the military and their families for the selfless heart for myself, my country, and every person that breathes this air!
    Prayers and heartfelt thoughts for the military and their families!
    I love AMERICA and have so much gratitude for the military and my President!

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  18. What an inspiring, well-written and amazing article. I feel pride every time I see these true American heros. God bless them!!!!

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  19. Selfless service and pride is right! GOD BLESS you everyone as you protect America!!! I pray for your return and for you to be kept out of harms way!!! I Thank you for rising to the occasion and preparing to battle to keep America safe!

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  20. What a beautiful, beautiful statement of love and appreciation to those who lay their lives down for us to live in the comforts & freedoms of The American way of life. What a way of making us think & love & be inspired & definitely pray for these young men & women. God bless & keep each & every one of them. Thank God for America!!

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  21. I have been discharged for 50 yrs., but would have gone in to help this Country at a moments notice. If you are Patriotic, you never lose it. To live in The Greatest Nation on this Earth is a Privilege not a Right. It costs us nothing unless we give of ourselves to give to our Defense of America. Some can do it, some cannot. For the ones that go above and beyond to defend our Republic and Allies, I applaud and pray for your safety. God Bless Our Troops near and far! Semper Fi! ~ A Forever Lover of America. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice! We are free because of many men and women like you that have freely served and sacrificed for that so am grateful. Wonderful words that give us hope that we can once again be a great nation again.

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  23. I always feel their heartaches when I imagine, that could be one of mine. How brave & selfless they are who stands up for this country of ours. I pray for them everyday!!! There is not enough money to pay them for what they are worth. My prayers for them & their moms & dads, wives, children, siblings & all Americans that truly love & respect them for what they give up to protect this great land of ours. Please take a moment out of your life each day, to thank God for them & for their protection. My thanks to them all. God Bless The USA❤️🙏🏻🇺🇸

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  24. On January 3rd I had the honor of watching my oldest son graduate from Parris Island and obtain the title of UNITED STATES MARINE. Just as we were getting home with him I found out about the embassy attack. I panicked I looked at my beautiful boy who turned 19 while he was in the hardest test he had faced MARINE boot camp and reality slapped my face because I know now the reality of the commitment my baby made. He does not belong to me anymore. I will not get to shield him from hurt pain bad things anymore. I won’t always get to sleep well just knowing he is safe and sound in his bed down the hall. I ask him what he feels knowing that we could be on the verge of a major war. And when he answered me I saw a warrior spirit in his eyes I saw a pride and a fight that I never saw in him. He carries himself with pride and purpose now and he told me that to go fight for his country was the reason he wanted to be a MARINE. My baby boy will always be that to me. But he is no longer a child to the world he is a MARINE A MIGHTY MAN OF VALOR. And to all those who do not respect America or her fighting forces should be put on the front lines but no they will set in their safe houses drinking their Starbucks while Proud Men and Women fight for their right to disrespect a country and a way of life most people in other countries can only dream of! I’m praying for our troops our country and our president

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  25. I am almost at a loss for words..I watched many young people leave home on and after 911.As well as many others,it had a great impact on are little town.Thank you all for your services.I pray for our troops everyday.I also pray for our communities to unite and stand together to comfort and safety to the families of our troops.

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  26. Absolutely outstanding and wonderful everything was said in this article,I come from Europe and became an American citizen but I could feel and see very clear how united are Americans always,doesn’t matter what is going on in this country they are very united and strong and brave,I love this country and the spirit of freedom and power the Americans inspire to others. I can’t thank enough for all those military people who are so brave and ready to sacrifice their life for the sake of their family and country. May God bless and protect all those military personnel and this country forever and ever.

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  27. Thank you for saying what so may of us just can’t put into words. We are the land of the free because of the brave and you don’t stand beside our military-then you do not belong in this country. You are free because of those who have fought to keep it that way. Regardless of how you stand support the men and women that keep our borders safe is we may all sleep at night. Thank them for their service and sacrifices they have made for all of us and be proud of our country-stand united one Nation under God with Liberty and Justice for all….

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  28. I still remember to day my dad left for Viet Nam, I was 8 years old. I lived my entire life as a military child, my dad wasn’t drafted. We moved to Idaho so we could be closer to my moms family while my dad was away. I remember how tight that hug was before he left. I remember him telling me how much he loved me. I remember him telling me to be strong, do well in school and to listen to my mom. That was 1967 and I remember that goodbye like it was yesterday. My dad was one of the lucky ones. He came home. I am so proud of my dad and ALL of those who serve our country in one way or another, military, police, firefighters. It takes a remarkable person to put others first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That gives me chills – my son has told me how he’ll never forget those hugs to his dad. I know I won’t either – not one!

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  29. My husband was a career Navy man and him and his brothers all served in Vietnam And I have been fighting for our veterans to have better care. I also have 3 sons who have served . I salute all of my military Thank you for your service

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  30. I was never in the service but several in my family were. The more I read this article the more proud of all that serve became to me. No I cannot understand the hurt and loss feelings overwhelm those who serve but also those at home. I have always supported those that serve. Thank God for our country AMERICA.

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  31. What a beautiful and heartfelt piece! Thank you for reminding us of what love these men and women have for this great country!

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  32. I am very deeply touched by your beautiful sentiment throughout your comment, and I am in total agreement with its entirety ! Thank you and I hope this goes viral throughout the country! May God bless you!

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  33. Beautifully said. Thank you for reminding us all of the military sacrifices. God Bless and please come home safely! That. Is. America!

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  34. God bless each and everyone of you that are ready at the drop of the pen. And to all of those that have went before and defended our country. Also to the families left at home. Words are never enough. Stay strong and God bless you

    Liked by 1 person

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