Today, the United States Army celebrates its birthday. Two hundred and thirty eight years ago, our Founding Fathers founded the Continental Army, establishing a deep-rooted tradition of honorably and successfully protecting and defending this great nation, as well as her people. It is a time to celebrate the men and women, past and present, who have selflessly served their country. Today, we celebrate our freedom and we remember that it isn’t free. We are reminded of the sacrifices that our soldiers have made for us, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We mourn the loss of the fallen and we celebrate those who have returned. Today, we remember that we are at war. Today, we thank our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and friends, who are currently off in distant nations fighting for what is right, defending our security and our freedom.
Take a moment out of your day to thank a veteran. Buy a soldier a drink at the bar tonight. Drink a Budweiser out of the red, white, and blue Ameri-can. Toast to America. Write a letter, send a care package, say a prayer; just do something.
To those of you reading who are currently active duty or reserves, thank you. To those of you reading who are currently in ROTC, thank you. To the parents, significant others, brothers, sisters, and children of soldiers, thank you.
And finally, a heartfelt and sincere thank you to my personal heroes, my dad and my brother-in-law, both of whom are soldiers, and both of whom are former fraternity gentlemen. My dad served in the Army for nearly thirty years and my brother-in-law is currently active duty. My family’s story is no different from that of every other military family. Deployments, field exercises, Christmases apart, missed births, wars, sleepless nights, and yellow ribbons – we’ve done it all. Just like every other brat I know, my childhood was spent in two different counties and seven different states. It’s not the life we signed up for, but it’s the life we lived; call me crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I grew up knowing that freedom is not free. I had an understanding that sacrifices were made. I was taught to respect and honor those in uniform, and I learned very quickly that America is the best fucking country in the world. So here’s to you, Army, Happy Birthday.