Since my car crash a little over a week ago, I’ve spent over a week in my rental car while my own car spent time in the body shop. Thanks to somebody else running a stop sign, my car’s whole front end is being replaced, over $8000 of repairs. I wonder if the other guy’s insurance will compensate for the decreased value of my poor Hyundai Tucson? I like my car, easy to load when I haul big things. It’s so much easier to convert from passenger to cargo than my old Plymouth Voyager. But if I ever trade, I doubt I’ll get much. Accident history equals too much depreciation. Deprecation too.
Appreciation is so much better. Saturday was Military Appreciation Day at the local fairgrounds. If I didn’t appreciate the military I wouldn’t have served in the Air Force along with my husband. After I got out to raise my first son, we both went with my husband to a remote duty station, Wallace Air Station in the Philippines. Nothing made me appreciate the USA more than living in another country where freedom was limited. Marcos came in and took over many privately owned businesses. Everyone we met wanted to go to the USA, the promised land. I enjoyed our year there with cold water and no phone or TV, but wanted to kiss the ground when we came home. I love the USA.
Back to the present and Military Appreciation Day, I drove my rental car through the rain to see my husband and son at the Thunderbird Inter-tribal Council booth. My husband is a member of the Thunderbird Inter-tribal Council Honor Guard. I found a lot of interesting things to look at along the way. I lost track of time staring at owls and a hedgehog rescued by the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. So I missed one of the Native American Dances. But I did see my son demonstrate a dance called a Crow Hop, and he did a great job.
There were other cultural activities in plenty, most manned by volunteers, along with booths set up by charities and businesses. There were many worthy charities in need of volunteers and donations, from mentoring students to housing wounded warriors on the human interest side. Animals were represented by the wildlife refuge mentioned above as well as a reptile display manned by Army Rangers.
Then I made the mistake of walking into the Hall of Heroes and didn’t get halfway through before I started crying, thinking of all the sacrifices brave men and women made in our country’s behalf, my own behalf. I wear my heart on my sleeve because the USA is my own true heartland.
My car will never appreciate in value. Few vehicles survive the test of time and gain a reputation for such high quality that they become an object valued by many. My country, however, becomes more valuable to me with every passing day. Its freedoms are precious, to be valued and protected by patriots who love and serve, sacrificing their lives if necessary so I can live my life without fear.
One big fear remains, are there enough patriots left in our country to protect it from the rising tide of socialism and anarchy within? Last week our local elections took place. I studied every candidate before I voted. Too many others didn’t vote, let alone study the candidates positions on issues. Don’t complain to me if your rights get chipped away, one at a time. Consider your heart. If you didn’t do anything to help your heartland last week, make time this week, and next, and next. . .Give to worthy charities, volunteer, vote. Give back.