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Sacrifice and Responsibility: For America, For You
by: Dawn McDaniel

Why is it that less than one percent of the population serves in the military? Have you ever taken a minute to really think about that? 

I interact with a lot of people veterans and civilians alike and I gauge their reaction to military and veterans. The hard reality is the generations of today do not reflect the same level of pride and honor for their country, for their freedom.

Decades with an all volunteer force, has made this country forget what the true sacrifices are for freedom. Sure, people talk about it in a cavalier manner, but do they truly reflect on what it would mean to be without freedom?

Throughout my travels I have seen an increasing lack of appreciation for freedom. I even question, at times, if these younger generations could comprehend what it was like without freedom. The greatest generation was and still is a prideful group. They worked hard, fixed things that were broken, took their time to get it right the first time, and they valued their freedom. Many even left their homelands for the land of opportunity.

The United States of America used to be filled with people who were proud of themselves and their actions, took care of their neighbors and built communities, and knew how valuable freedom is. This is what made them the greatest generation. This is what prompted them to fight for freedom and their way of life. Everyone was invested and the Nation was unified.

Today, the focus has shifted. As a result the appreciation for freedom and the understanding of what it means to be without it has virtually vanished from the majority. There is an expectation that things will be given rather than earned, replaced rather than fixed, and happen at the speed of light.  These thoughts are not grounded in reality. Instead, someone makes the sacrifice so that these things can take place as they appear.

This responsibility and sacrifice falls squarely on the shoulders of our military and their families. They volunteer to fight the hard fight while others demand and replace things. They sacrifice time with their families, miss weddings, births, and deaths of close family and friends, all so that the rest of the nation can experience them in real time.

The military respects and appreciates freedom in a different way than most. It is easy to respect and appreciate something you do not have. While many may think that the military is an easy lifestyle, this just shows how little they understand. When you cannot take that vacation, the one that took two years to plan and save for, because Uncle Sam needs you to help the nation, you have no freedom. When you must wear a specific uniform, morning, noon, and night; you have no freedom. When you have no choices and no control, you have no freedom.

The USA has a wealth of freedom, and with all things that are in over abundance they are easily taken for granted. Consider what a few sacrifice for the many, so that the citizens of the USA can maintain their desired lifestyle. Taking some time to educate yourself on the military culture and sacrifice can go a long way to building your own appreciation for your freedom and opportunity in this country. Perhaps if more people did that, we could emerge as the greatest generation again!

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