My family history is not unlike those of millions of other Americans. In fact, it’s a common bond that many of us carry in the States, very similar stories of our relatives coming here to make a better life. My grandparents on my father’s side of the family came in the early 1900’s. My grandfather worked 37 years as an open-hearth foundry foreman making steel and grandma was a homemaker and mother of six. Four of them eventually served in the U.S military during World War II. My father was lucky, he got the opportunity to go to college after high school on a scholarship. When he graduated, he spent his next four years as an Army Officer overseas, where I was born.
Our family returned to the United States when I was just four years old and we settled in Florida. After my own high school graduation, I went on to receive a degree and, after a few years of working in corporate management, I decided to serve my Country, eventually earning a Non-Commissioned Officer status for myself in the United States Army. Looking back on my own personal journey, I was fortunate to learn some valuable things from my relatives about America. America gave them (and me) opportunities and freedoms that other people around the globe can only dream about. More importantly, my relatives, along with millions of other immigrants, helped create a legacy that we can and need to continue. We can do this by giving back to a Country that’s already given us so much.
Without a doubt, for most of us, the military gave us a purpose, a sense of duty. Now as civilians, we can partner with others to help them find their own purpose. I suggest to those who wore the uniform, we can still serve our Country in that capacity. Many of us are already giving back. It’s inspiring for me to see so many other veterans setting the example. Honestly, they keep me going when things seem tough. They are showing other veterans (and me) that we can keep giving back. By doing so, we can inspire and motivate others to do the same, we can set more examples of perseverance, honor, courage, teamwork, and strength-the very foundation of America. It’s what the gift of Freedom is all about. After all, we have a huge legacy to carry on for the future generations of others who will come here long after we are gone. With gratitude…