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The 4th of July has come and went and with it the joys and the stresses. How easy it is to get caught up in preparations and distractions and forget the meaning behind the holiday. Normally I take a moment to thank those in my family who have served but I forgot. I got busy. I got buried in the freedoms paid for by those who served. My apologies.

Thank you to the men and women who serve this beautiful, flawed country and the families who support them. As badly as I believe we are flawed as a nation, this is the only home I’ve known and I am proud to be an American. I may not stand behind those who lead this country but I stand 100% behind those who protect it.

I am grateful that my daughter, who turns one year old this month, can grow up in a country where she doesn’t have to worry about being sold or traded like property. Where she can play with others of different cultures and learn alongside her peers. She doesn’t have to worry about what she wears (those goodness knows I will). And she is free to chose what she has faith in. America may be flawed but it is still the land of the free where she can make her own choices and be who she wants to be. May this be the first of many to come where she learns what freedom means and what it costs.