I am a Christian and a Patriot. I thank God for the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and for the freedom I enjoy as an American. And I live in freedom because of the courage, dedication and sacrifice of many who have selflessly protected and defended this nation throughout its history. "I See America" is my love song to them. In addition to the family members and friends who have served, several events throughout the decades of my life have inspired this song.
I was just a little girl in the 1960's during the Vietnam War, so I didn't understand a lot about it at the time.
But I do remember being troubled by the anger directed at our returning troops. I just didn't get it. I still don't get it. The public outcry of that time was misguided, cruel, and irreparable, leaving our Vietnam veterans emotionally wounded forever. As a nation, we owe them - boy, do we owe them. This is a debt that can never be repaid, but we still need to make a sincere effort to give them our heartfelt thanks and a genuine sense of honor. I've met enough of these precious veterans to know they still hurt and desperately need to feel truly appreciated. And we must not forget our Korean War vets or our remaining World War II veterans.
During the 1970's, while I was in high school, I had the unique experience of corresponding with a young man in the United States Air Force. We were "introduced by mail" through a mutual friend, so I never got to meet him, in person, but we developed a special friendship through those letters. He was stationed in the Philippines for most of that time, so I learned from this "G.I. in the P.I." about the homesickness and loneliness our troops often experience when stationed overseas. But I was an immature teenager then, still in my little comfort zone at home. I didn't think about how young he was, living so far from home and everything that was familiar to him. Now, looking back, I've certainly gained an even deeper respect and appreciation for him and the job he was doing.
I was incredibly proud when my brother enlisted in the Air Force in 1982. He did his job well and was proud to serve. Fortunately, his job did not put him into harm's way, but the years he served included the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut and the Invasion of Grenada - not exactly peaceful times.