Happy 4th of July from Stillwater, Oklahoma!
Stillwater, Oklahoma is one of those great places that you never hear about, unless something really notable puts it on the map. Things of that nature seem to include the capture of serial killers that have been at large for 10 years, but those are not the kinds of things that happen here. We might have a tornado pass through, but luckily, we haven’t had catastrophic events from that. True, we have Oklahoma State University and one heck of a great football team, but we also have one other important thing: our veterans.
These men and women have kept our country safe for so many years, and they do it strictly for the sense of freedom and to protect people like you and me that never joined the Armed Services.
I presently work with a couple of folks that are doing their two weeks training right now, and they sure have seen their share of other countries, the things that happen there, and the other things that they just cannot talk about. As well as it being classified information, there are things that we just wouldn’t understand as civilians. Thanks to you, my friends, for all you have done in the past and what you are doing now, as members of the National Guard.
Not to forget anyone, I have a friend overseas that I haven’t even met yet. She is serving her country in the Middle East and has served in two campaigns. She pulls her weight and has to put up with the sand, food not nearly as good as what we come home to, and the fact that she has been away for so long, she is growing roots in the sand. She just came home to find an apartment for August, but she will still be working for the United States, though be it Stateside. Has she earned it? You bet she has. When she gets there, Owasso, be thankful. I owe you a home cooked meal, Tammy.
I know another gentleman that is old and gray, fingers so arthritic, he can barely move them. He worked hard all his life, and raised a family. He was in two wars, but doesn’t remember them anymore, or too much else. Thanks, Pop, I wish you could remember me, but I’m one of those people that came into your life too late. I’m proud of what you did, even though the memories are gone for you.
I also know a lot of other people that have served, though not from Oklahoma, they are still important to our well being. There’s a Canadian with dual citizenship that served for us. She has had so much trouble with her feet due to an accident while she was in the Middle East, but she is one tough lady. She has faced a lot of adversity in her life, but her strength is insurmountable. Thanks, Dana, you are a star in my eyes.
There’s another friend in the northeast, who has always had a smile on his face and a warped sense of humor, no matter what. As an Airborne Ranger, he served in a lot of missions, especially in the dead of night, to rescue our men that had been taken prisoner. His missions were successful and he served well, an exemplary example of the meaning of the word hero. Thanks, Joey, I am safe today because of you.
Thanks to the rest of you, too, the ones that I don’t know, may never meet, and could well pass every day and not know that you fought for my freedom. You have been to kind and humble not to mention it, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t thank you.
Last night, while I took these pictures for all of you, you were all on my mind as I enjoyed those fireworks here in Stillwater, Oklahoma. You are all the salt of the earth, and you have my utmost respect, as well as a glowing “thank you,” in my heart. You have done well, no matter what campaign that you served in, living or dead. I look up to you, and I always will. These pictures are for you.