As the 4th of July quickly approaches, I am reminded of years past spent on a beach, at a barbeque, swimming, fireworks, and of course, the usual patriotic red, white and blue.  These celebrations are the highlight of the season because it means that summer is in full swing.  And who doesn’t love summer?

This year it will take on a whole new meaning to me and my family. This Independence Day, we have the honor of being a Blue Star Family as my youngest child is currently serving in the US Army. It’s no big secret that I have always been proud to be an American.

After all, this is the greatest country in the free world. As Independence Day approaches, my heart is overwhelmed with a very new kind of pride. I am proud of my son, I am proud of those who serve alongside of him, I am proud of those who served before him, and I am proud of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this great nation.

They are part of less than 1% of the population willing to “Support and Defend the Constitution of The United States”. I had never really thought about the 4th of July in this context before, but it makes perfect sense, freedom isn’t free. There will always be those sacrificing to defend the American way of life.  As we celebrate, our service men and women will be stationed all over the world, living the oath that they took to ensure our freedom and independence are always protected. My usual patriotic red, white, and blue mean a little bit more this year. My heart bleeds red, white, and blue and I hope that yours does too.

By Employee Owner Dawn Rigney, Registered Nurse