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Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Independence Day


I can't think that phrase without thinking of the song by Faith Hill. But that's not what I want to talk about today. My blog posts, at least right now, seem to have two themes: my writing and my husband.

As it is the 4th of July, today's blog post centers around my husband. I can't help it. He's very close to my heart and very far from my home.


Something about hearing the stirring music to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” coupled with multitudes of people standing in reverent attention with their hands on their hearts, always brings a warm fervor of pride to my soul. I have always been so proud to be an American. As a child, I would shout the lyrics to songs at the top of my lungs during patriotic activities: “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.”

And yet in the past year, the patriotic fervor I feel has magnified to an almost religious observance, to a passionate devotion and gratitude that I feel in the depth of my being. Now when I sing, “And I won’t forget the men who died and gave the right to me,” I can’t restrain the tears that flow down my face. There are still men today that fight for not only our freedoms, but the freedoms of repressed people across the globe.

My husband is one of them. At the command of our country, he left his life behind to sacrifice at least a year of his life and help bring equality and justice for all to a war-torn nation and the suffocated, deprived people of Afghanistan. We cried when he got the call; my husband was leaving behind not only the house we had only hours ago moved into, not just the job he received a promotion at two months ago, but also two children and a pregnant wife. Yet he never questioned his duty. He never tried to shirk the responsibility he accepted when he joined the armed forces.
I am grateful to the families who support their husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers, allowing them to serve in the military. I also honor you on this day. I am grateful to the civilians who remember our military with every prayer, who put out our nation’s flag and let it wave in front of their houses. I am grateful to the church groups who post signs in front of the buildings asking us to pray for our military. I am grateful to the radio stations who take time out of their normal scheduled programs to play music that celebrates our freedoms and sparks emotion in our hearts.

But especially, I am grateful to the Americans like my husband. The normal men and women that have the desire to be something greater, to accomplish something more. I do not have the strength, emotionally or physically, to serve my country as you do. But my thoughts are with you, not just today, but every day. Happy Independence Day.

Find someone you know, either a veteran, the family member of a veteran, or the family member of someone who is serving, and take the time to thank them today. Whether you agree with our government's political agenda or not, you certainly enjoy your freedom. It means so much to me every time someone does this.

7 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

What a lovely post Tamara. It takes a special kind of strength and courage to enlist in the military and to serve in such dangerous conditions. The people who do this deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.

My thoughts are always with you and your family. Enjoy the 4th with pride.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thanks, Jemi! I certainly will!

Talli Roland said...

Happy Fourth of July, even though I'm a day late. Thinking of you and your family!

kate. said...

Hi Tamara, you don't know me, but I wanted to comment on this great post, hope that is okay. My boyfriend went to basic training with your husband, and I have to tell you that your husband is such an amazing influence, and example to other soldiers. He truly exemplifies a great soldier, and I know my boyfriend is proud to know him.

Hope all is well with you and your family.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Kate, big hugs for you! that is by far one of nicest things you could've said to me. Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm so proud of him, it makes me so happy to know of his influence on other people. How is your boyfriend now? Where is he? Keep in touch!

kate. said...

Ben is doing well. He is actually at pre-deployment trainings until September and then I'll get to see him for a few weeks before he gets deployed.

Hopefully, I will keep my blog updated with his happenings (to a certain extent), so if you get bored, check us out kateskodaks.blogspot.com

Also, this is kind of random, but I have pictures of Ben and Mark from graduation, if you're interested. Let me know! Rooskati@gmail.com

I probably should have just emailed you. Oh well :)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Hi Kate, I let Mark know what you said and I think it totally made his day. It'll be interesting to see what happens w/ Ben! I'll email you!

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