July 4th - What's not to like? The weather is usually hot and awesome, it's an additional day off from the daily grind at the office, and there are fireworks, cold bevvies, BBQs, and time spent with friends and family. It can't be beat in this guy's opinion. The 4th of July has some deeper meaning to me, as my 4th of July, 2004 was spent in the hot, dusty desert of Iraq. As as member of the Montana Air National Guard, I always knew there was a possibility of deployment, and sure enough, I got the call, packed my bags and headed out. There's nothing like an experience like that to make you realize what's important in life. Before I left, I remember how irritated I would get with all the "first world" problems - irritating drivers on the road, the cost of gas, my beer wasn't cold enough - you know, those little things that happen every day that add up and can get under your skin. I now make a conscious effort to catch myself when I start getting irritated to think big picture. We have it so damn good in this country.
Take the 4th of July to sit and smile and have an awesome time, just take a moment to cheers all our brothers and sisters that are overseas. Long story short, here's what I'm going to be doing on this 4th of July. I hope you can take a few moments out of your day and do something similar.
1. Take a few moments and be thankful for where you live and the opportunities the good o' USA has provided to all of us.
2. BBQ. Doesn't get more American.
3. Fly the Flag. Think about all our fellow Americans that are out defending this country and can't spend the holiday with their friends & family.
Here's a few other awesome things that you can do over the weekend as well. Living in the great state of Montana gives us some amazing opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
1. Camping. Doesn't matter if you're in a 33 ft. fifth wheel or a tent.
2. Fish. Hike. Bike. Get out on the Lakes and Rivers. Enjoy the National Parks - we have two of the best in Montana!
3. Adopt an Eagle. Yes, you can do that.
Caveat - I had to use "the Google" to see if the last one was actually possible, and it most definitely is.
I'll never forget my time deployed. It put things in perspective for me and gave me a sense of pride in this country that will never diminish. Is everything here perfect? Heck no. But we all have the opportunity to make choices to better ourselves and our country. Take advantage of those opportunities.
Now go fly Old Glory, fire up the BBQ, grab a cold one and smile. Cheers to all my fellow military members. Stay Safe. It's America's birthday. ENJOY!
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