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There are a lot of articles on the military civilian divide, just google it. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff put it best in his commentary which was published in the LA times,

“We still have much to learn about how to connect the warrior to the citizen…We can’t allow a sense of separation to grow between us.”

For us, it has been nothing but an absolute honor to serve our country. I wish I could scream it from the mountain tops that you will love yourself, your life and America if you give back, and you don’t have to physically serve in the military to do it.  

We have been knocked down a time or two but I still believe in the American dream, but it comes at a huge cost, but how do you truly love something if you don’t have to work for it? That’s where the glory is, when we make a personal investment to make things better whether that’s going to war, saying a prayer for our troops or donating to a charity.

So I ask all of you, as we all prepare to celebrate America’s birthday, to think about this great divide, to think about what you love about America and to remember we would not be Land of the Free if it were not for the thousands before us who have fought for that freedom.  

My challenge to everyone this 4th of July is to ask, what can you give for America? What have you done to make it better? This reminds me of the story Scotty often tells about getting lost shortly after being blinded.  He was lost in a parking lot and threw down his stick in anger, questioning “Why me? Why this life?” He later came to the conclusion, that those aren’t the right questions, he now asks God how can I use this life you’ve given me for good? How can my life help others?

Through our journey Scotty and I have met incredible people, people who are bridging that gap between America and those that serve. People who simply “get it” people who know that their freedom has been paid for with a price, people who know that, “a nation who forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten” -Calvin Coolidge.

They get this in the very core of their being and do an amazing job at ensuring our military men, women, and families will never be forgotten by running non-profits that meet their needs and serve them where they are. Scotty and I have had the pleasure of knowing each of these families and have seen how they have built organizations that do it the right way.

People always ask Scotty and I about charities that we support and trust, and lets be honest, there are some out there that are not so great, ones that are more concerned with PR than helping soldiers. I have even had a non-profit organization make me cry, it was horrible, they wanted all my tax info to see if we would be “eligible” to get some assistance with a move we had coming up, I did my due diligence and submitted it all, I initiated a follow-up phone call only to be treated like a fool for trying to seek assistance.  It was awful and it made me appreciate the people who we hold so dearly, who have the right motivation and simply want to help out military families. Please consider supporting one these following non-profits; they are bridging the gap between our military and the American people and we are honored to call them our friends.  Happy Birthday America!!!!!!!

Carrington Charitable Foundation- Provides housing assistance to military families.

Veterans Airlift Command– The VAC provides free air transportation to combat wounded and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.

Children of Fallen Patriots– Provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.

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