Ever since I was a little girl my dad taught me the importance of our country and the military. Some of his lessons he spoke to me directly, others were non-verbal. No matter how I learned it, these fifteen things will stick with me forever.
Freedom is not free
Always respect the flag
Peterson Air Force Base
No matter where you are when the National Anthem is played, you stand up, take your hat off, and stare at the flag until the song is over. No exceptions.
Say "Thank you for your service."
It's the least you can do for the people who are dedicating their lives to serving our country.
My dad never bragged about being an accomplished veteran and almost never wore his uniform out in public so that people would not look at him any differently. He believed being in the Air Force was his duty to the country and that he should not be treated differently than anyone else.
Help your mom
Since my dad was gone a lot, my brothers and I had to pick up a lot of the slack when he was not at home. We learned that we needed be extra helpful for our mom so as not to put added stress on her as she was a single mom for pretty much half the year.
The sound of freedom
You know that sound when a jet roars through the sky at 750 miles per hour? That's the sound of freedom.
Be respectful towards our leaders
Even if we don't agree with them, and don't necessarily like them, be respectful towards them because of the office they hold.
Be proud of our country
Even with all the controversy going on in our nation, we should still be proud to live here. No other country does more good in this world than the United States of America.
Military spouses deserve as much recognition as the soldier themself
The ones who stay at home are the ones who make it possible for the soldier to be overseas and fight without worrying about the situation back at home. My mom was an amazing role model for me of a strong woman who ran the house so that my dad could serve our country. She is now the master of mowing lawns and fixing sink pipes and toilets and so much more that I may never know how to do. She also never misses an opportunity to remind us how she is the one who taught my brother how to slide into the base while my dad was gone.
There is always someone that has it harder than me, so even if I'm not serving in the military, I can find a way to serve people in my community.
Everything my dad does he puts 110% of his effort into. Whether it was doing the yard or helping with our homework or flying a plane, he threw his entire being into it.
Family is a top priority
There were countless times when my mom, brothers and I huddled around the computer late at night in order to Skype my dad who was in other countries all the way across the globe. My mom even decided to homeschool us through our entire elementary school years so that when my dad was home we would have time with him. I learned that family is the most important thing.
Relationships are everything
Military forms friendships that will last a lifetime.
Our military is made up of some the bravest people in the world
Never watch "Top Gun" with my dad
Unless I want the entire movie narrated word by word and acted out scene by scene, I probably won't be watching this movie with him again anytime soon.
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