This young Lance Corporal had seen it all; beheadings, night patrols through dangerous neighborhoods, kids without shoes and proper clothing living in dilapidated dirt floored homes with no running water, trash piling in every street corner, jobless and hopeless men milling around towns aimlessly and roadside bombs killing his fellowMarines. Upon coming home, he must have taken a look around and after taking a deep breath, smelling the unmistakable smell of freedom and feeling that indescribable feeling of security made this statement.
I know I am always accused of being totally biased about my opinions about my adopted country. That is all right with me; I enjoy being accused of loving my country and look for more of the same accusations year after year. That is probably why around this time every year just before the Thanksgiving Holiday, I feel a very strong urge to go somewhere where I can be alone, look around, smell the air, feel the freedom and absorb everything that was given to me by this country. I am thankful for everything in my life and I feel strongly that Thanksgiving Holiday is a great time to show my appreciation and give my thanks.
That is why I am thankful to bean American citizen; thankful I am living in America where we believe in equal rights and justice for all; thankful that my rights as an individual are respected; thankful for being able to go to work every day without fear of being blown up or kidnapped.
I am thankful for my family; my father and mother who are still alive and in reasonably good health, my sister who is a cancer survivor, my wife and partner of 39 years; my children, my grandchildren and all our dear friends and associates on Marco Island.
I am thankful to all the members of the Armed forces who serve voluntarily around the world away from their families and loved ones and have to make the ultimate sacrifice when needed just to make it possible for us to live here in peace and enjoy our daily lives.
Thanksgiving Holiday is definitely a time to give thanks; it is not just roasted turkey and trimmings, not just pumpkin pie and football games. Let us all be thankful for what we have and think of ways to make life better for those who do not…