This year our family 4th of July get-together today takes on new meaning because next week my nephew is going to Iraq. That’s Charlie the Marine in the photo with my dad, who is a proud Air Force veteran. I’ve always loved this holiday weekend because it really makes me stop and think about what an extraordinary country we live in. We proudly fly our American flag every day, not only to honor our country, but also to remember the men and women who have served in military conflicts. Lee Greenwood’s song, God Bless the USA, is a classic that still brings a tear to my eyes…Happy 4th everyone!
Earlier today we had a family dinner for my nephew Charlie. He just completed boot camp and he is now a Marine. That’s Charlie and my dad, Lee, wearing his old Air Force hat. When Charlie left tonight my dad hugged him and tried to tell him how he felt, but he couldn’t find the words. What do you say when you see your grandson standing in front of you, so tall and brave and strong ready to serve his country? We love him, he knows that. We are all very proud of him, he knows that too. What he doesn’t know is that when his grandfather looks at him he sees eighteen years, forty years, seventy years, a lifetime that is quickly passing by, and a lifetime that is new and still unfolding. He sees the little boy and he sees the man he has become. There simply are not enough words or enough hours in a day to say what a grandfather has in his heart on an afternoon like this. But that’s okay dad, the tears in your eyes said it all, don’t worry, Charlie knows, he knows.