Trip with vets to Capitol is great reminder: It’s land of free because of brave

Published 11:42 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I’m feeling very patriotic this week.

There’s nothing like being fresh off a trip to our nation’s Capitol with some 25 or so veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam to remind you about what’s important.

I’ve kind of been disheartened about how our country is going since the election.

Half of my friends and family has been overly excited about the new president, while the other half has been increasingly outraged.

It’s been the most divided time that I can remember in my 31 years.

But getting to see and talk to these amazing veterans who took the Honor Flight trip last week helped me remember that there are many good people in this country who have fought the good fight for our freedoms.

And whether you think that Donald Trump is the worst leader we’ve ever had or the best we’ve ever had, I stand reminded that we have had better and we have had worse.

Observing these veterans and the kindness they exemplified made me even more grateful that because of them we have a voice to share our praise or our disdain for our elected officials. We have the freedom to do so many things that others in the world do not get to do.

When I stepped off the bus at Arlington National Cemetery, my phone rang. It was by youngest sister, who is in the National Guard and was on her last day in Kuwait after a nearly yearlong deployment.

Talking to her and listening in the background made me even more proud.

While we were honoring our veterans of wars past, she and others in her unit were asking when we were going on the next Honor Flight because they wanted to help honor those who fought years ago as well.

A generation of young veterans, who earned their right to be called veterans, still wanted to acknowledge the importance of veterans who changed the course of the world.

Being the oldest of three girls, I’m often the one who gets looked up to or has the high expectations set upon me.

But watching, helping and seeing the sacrifices my young, but brave sister, who left behind three small children to serve her country, has made me admire her even more.

This week she gets to love on her babies for the first time since last June.

As long as we have troops who voluntarily fight for our freedoms, I have hope in our America.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”