(I started this post on July 4th but because of my busy-ness (laziness), I'm just now getting around to finishing it.)
As I think about how many friends of mine have come and gone from deployment to deployment in various branches of the military, as I have to endure listening to my dad's Vietnam stories over and over again, as I go through old family photos and see my grandads in their uniforms, I am filled with thanksgiving for their sacrifice and the sacrifice of so many men and women who face scenarios on the front lines that I can't even begin to fathom. I am filled with gratitude for those who currently choose that career path and for those in the past who were called to the line of duty because of an enforced draft and who courageously left the comforts of home to travel to a foreign land.
Of course I am thankful for the sacrifice of so many. Of course.
But I would wager that I am not the only human being around to take my freedom and liberties for granted - freedom and liberties that have been fought hard for by my grandads, dad, friends. And I'm sorry I take them for granted, I am. But I can't imagine - literally, my mind won't go there - a world without freedoms.
I don't know what it's like to not be able to voice my opinion of our nation's leaders.
I have no clue how it feels to wear a veil over my face just because I am a woman.
I can't imagine how it would feel to want to leave my homeland and come to a foreign, peaceful, opportunistic country because my homeland is literally hopeless.
I know nothing of going hungry.
Or of having no shoes.
Or of living in filth.
Instead, I could say the rudest things about our nation's leaders, have it aired on any media outlet and not even get a 'tisk, tisk'.
I could wear daisy dukes and a halter top and go have lunch with my boyfriend.
I have every single opportunity in the world at my finger tips. I could be anything, do anything, and achieve any and every goal I set for myself.
Little Caesars $5 Hot & Readys are literally thirty seconds from my house. (I drive there.) I also spent a collected $80 on my dinner over two nights last week at fancy restaurants. Because I could.
You could walk a mile in my shoes, taking each step in a different pair.
I have dustbunnies under my couch and soap scum in my shower. But I have a bi-weekly bug man come spray my house.
I know nothing of being freedom-less and liberty-less, unless you consider the city-wide mandate of what days of the week I can water my lawn when we're in a draught.
Because of the sacrifices of so, so, so many brave men and women, for the 27th time in my life, I was able to spend my Fourth of July eating hamburgers and potato salad, swimming, and watching fireworks.
I am thankful for my cocoon of safety, shoes, and liberty. And I apologize for taking it all for granted.