This morning as I was driving into work, listening to the radio instead of rocking out to my iPod since Ben needed my car after work, the guys on the radio were talking about patriotism. They were discussing whether it was genetic or learned. Yeah I was sorta scratching my head at that one too. Can you really be genetically patriotic?
Then I had the thought, I love that Ben is teaching my kids to love our country. I work for the government. So do my parents, always have. My husband as well. We all work at a Naval base. Both of my Grandpas were in the military. Navy for one Air Force for the other. One spent Vietnam on a ship helping fix those who were injured. The other rescued people who were in need from a helicopter, until he was lost, for a long time. They both came home. Neither of them talk about it much. They were both career service members. No three, five ten years in and then out. They both spent decades of their lives serving our country. Giving time with their families up to protect our rights and privileges and way of life as we know it today.
I grew up living next to a submarine base. A few times a year a local group that headquarters right down the road from that base protests. They protest the nuclear weapons that are stored and ready if our country every needs them to protect our freedom, rights, and happiness. So if you haven't figured it out, I'm all for our country having the arsenal required to deter anyone from ever pushing us that far. The day that someone would have to make the call to actually launch a nuclear weapon would be a sad one and I know that it's not something our leaders would take lightly. But I also know that I appreciate that our country has been blessed by the ability to develop technologies above those of countries and organizations that would love to see us fall. As I see those people standing in the road handing out their fliers and using their rights to protest the very organizations that helped them receive those rights sorta breaks my heart a little. And I think to myself, "If you don't like it, why don't you live somewhere else?"
Obviously I have a pretty wide red, white, and blue streak running through me. There are days that I cry when I hear our anthem played. One of our favorite songs is "I'm proud to be An American". That one can make me cry too. I love that Ben teaches our children who our leaders are, even if we may not agree with their policies. I love how strict and expectant of the kids he is when the Anthem is played. I'm so glad that I can see him teaching our children to love and respect this amazing country that we all live in.
Tyler has already told me that he wants to be in the military when he grows up. I'm sure that he doesn't fully understand all of the risks and trials that come with that. And he may very well change his mind many times over the next 12 or so years. But it really warmed my heart to see that my son had a love for his country, a desire to serve. And I can honestly say that if either of my children ever decide to join our country's military I would be so proud. Scared and praying, but proud.
What are you teaching your kids?
One other bonus of living here: We get a day dedicated to playing with fire and blowing things up! Love the 4th of July!