Armstrong Williams | 7/3/2014, 4:04 p.m.
This weekend, Americans all over the country will step out onto their patios and decks and into their backyards to partake in a delicious barbecue with family, friends and loved ones. A drink or two is sure to be spilled, and chances are kids will fight over who gets to eat the biggest burger.
By the time evening rolls around, families will set up their chairs and picnic blankets as anticipation of the night’s display of fireworks begins to grow. Once the first cracks are heard, all eyes will be fixed on the night sky until the anchor is complete.
Throughout the day, you may overhear talk of patriotism and the sacrifice our veterans have made, but chances are you’ll be too stuffed with food to listen or you’ll already be taking an afternoon nap. For most Americans, Independence Day is a lot like the beginning of a baseball game. A famous artist sings the national anthem and everyone in the stadium stands and places their hand upon their heart. Some people sing along or at least mouth the words, but most put on a fake look of sincerity, thinking, “I can’t wait till the song ends so the game can begin.”
Americans are very good at looking and sounding patriotic, but it’s fake. We put on face paint and wear ridiculous costumes for the World Cup, but we fail to ponder the sacrifice made by past and present American military heroes. We get more excited at the beginning of a sports game than when a soldier safely returns home to his wife and kids or when soldiers on a helicopter crash narrowly escape the jaws of death. We are more proud when the American soccer team scores a goal in overtime than when American soldiers successfully bring freedom to millions of people across the Atlantic.
Disagree with the last few years of American foreign policy all you want, but at the end of the day, the individuals who put their lives on the line for our freedom deserve the utmost respect. We are quick to politicize American military operations but slow to pray for our troops and support their dedication no matter what the circumstance.
The ongoing scandal at the Veterans Affairs Department is disgraceful. The fact that thousands of American veterans are not receiving care or have waited over 90 days to receive care is shameful.Whatever political party you identify with doesn’t matter. All Americans should be outraged over the corruption and scandal and disrespect shown to those soldiers to whom we owe our lives.
Two years ago, Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco successfully underwent double arm transplant surgery. He lost both of his arms back in 2009 from a bomb explosion in Iraq. Marrocco’s ability to even squeeze and throw a tennis ball is a miracle. He deserves our thanks and praise.
In 2010, Lance Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter heroically saved a fellow soldier after the two of them came under heavy fire on a rooftop in Afghanistan. Carpenter dove on a live grenade, losing his eye and sustaining serious injuries but saving the life of his friend. This is what true love and courage look like.