It's here! One of the most celebrated holidays in America: July 4th. The our founding fathers officially founded our nation we call today: America. It has become one of the most glorified days were we encompass a lot of different aspects of America. From thanking our ancestors for our independence from Great Britain, to remembering our soldiers, and troops for continuously fighting for our freedom on July 4th. It's one of the best times of the year with enjoying being around friends, family, and most importantly the food! We surround ourselves with familiar and non-familiar faces alike and end the day with amazing fireworks that light up the sky. Again, it truly is a great holiday. I believe that it is something that we definitely should enjoy, however there is an aspect of it that we all need to be mindful of when we celebrate this great holiday, and that is the inclusion of our war heroes.
This time last year, we had some instances that brought up some great points in our time of celebrating America's Independence Day. In the present day, we see that there is a growing conversation on mental health. This could not apply more than to our veterans, and even more so on this day when we forget about our heroes who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Last year we saw talk and examples of what our vets had to say about how fireworks are triggers for them, and can cause very serious side effects for them. All of this can be so easily said and talked about until it hits close to home, and it surely did in Valdosta, Georgia, and the students and community of Valdosta State University.
On July 4th of 2015, a former student and student-athlete named Mike Kreft took his life from our harmless celebration of Independence Day. Being a beloved football player, friend, son, and brother, he was triggered by some bystanders fireworks. Media Coverage on this story went to multiple levels, and brought the community of Valdosta, and Valdosta State University so much closer than ever before. When instances like this happen, we learn so many lessons from them. "Life is short" or "Time is precious" This message however, was very clear and concise: "Think of our troops on Independence Day" This day a year ago, will forever ring in the community of Valdosta Georgia's mind.
July 4th is a phenomenal holiday, one that most everyone in America takes time out of their day to remember and celebrate. It is one that speaks to a lot of people, and helps us give thanks for our ancestors. I personally don't want anyone to not enjoy the best part of Independence Day, fireworks, but I will say this. Be mindful of those around you on Independence Day. We're all thankful for our independence, our families, and our troops, however you never know who is around you. Happy 4th of July America, and God Bless America!