Monday, May 31, 2010

America, the beautiful

"We must always remember that America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people but because of what people did for themselves and for one another." -- Ronald Reagan

Happy Memorial Day! As this day comes to a close, I cannot express my gratitude for the men and women who sacrifice everything for our country. I am at a loss for words for them and how they gave up everything for the cost of others, not themselves. It comes back to how the Lord gave his life for us. They, unlike Jesus, did not even know us or anyone they were sacrificing for, but they knew it would be worth it for liberty, justice, and freedom.

Today, we got together with all of the Riley family. We have three men in our family who served. Although my grandfather was the only one present, I will go in depth to all of their positions and responsibilities.

My grandfather, Mack Riley, is my hero. He is 87 and not a day over 40. I cannot explain his way of life, but I can tell you that I believe he does everything right. And not that he is perfect, but he is a southern gentlemen who knows everything, about everything, literally. I look up to him so much, not only in this faith, but in his attributes. My grandfather enlisted in the Navy right after graduation. He was sent to Chicago to learn about radio technology and sent secret messages during World War II. There, he met and fell in love with my grandmother, Betty Fischer. As he tells it, she was wearing a red coat (one of the many reasons I love the color red) and he said there was something special about her. He tells us that she did not like him and had no intentions of giving him a chance. He had to pursue her, and soon enough they fell in love. This was all before the war, after training of the radio technology, he came back to Auburn University where he and grew. I believe they were married when they came back to Auburn. After Auburn, World War II begin he was enlisted to serve by teaching the young pilots how to transmit radio signals to fighter jets. His job in the war was very important because alot of the war was fought in the air, by aircraft. I am thankful for his sacrifice.

My Uncle Ken is another family member that has been so involved with the military and has served many years of service. Him and my Aunt Pat met while at Auburn, both involved in the sorority and fraternities scenes, they both fell in love while at Auburn and have since blossomed to serve. My Uncle Ken graduated Auburn and went to enlist in the army. The army told him they would pay for him to go to med school, and from there, his accomplishments are too many to describe. Some of the biggest involvement in the wars has been his service through being a military doctor. They have moved over 22 times and have four boys. What a awesome family! They are so great, but my uncle has sacrificed so much for the sake of our country. His most recent position that had a huge impact on us and America was his position at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was the commanding general there and two-star general. He worked side by side with Condy Rice and President Bush. He worked with many families who had lost family members or had injured family members in Iraq. He and his colleagues formed a program for men and women who were amputees from the war. This program in still in use there at Walter Reed. Uncle Ken is now in Phoenix, Arizona, where he is a commander of a army hospital there. He is truly a man of commendable service. I am so thankful for him.

My cousin, Tim, who is Ken's son, served two years in Iraq on active duty. He loves the Lord and served Him and our country while he was over seas. He is back now ans I commend him for his service.

What a wonderful honor to have them in my family. I am so blessed! Happy Memorial Day and always remember that freedom is America and America is free because of these kinds of men and women.

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