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Besides living in Canada for 6 years, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Germany and France when I was young. With business, I traveled and worked with companies in Iceland, France, the UK, and Italy. In the Navy, I did humanitarian operations throughout the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. We also did joint training operations in Europe with the UK, France, and Israelis. I served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, spending time in Egypt, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. 

In my 47 years, I was only spit at once for being an American - by an old Muslim woman in Clichy, France (we were there for business and walked through a questionable neighborhood). I smiled and went on my way.

I loved visiting all of the countries, experiencing their culture, and enjoying the food and scenery. But nothing ever compared to home. With that one exception in 47 years, everywhere I’ve been, people raised a beer and welcomed me as if I were someone special. 

There’s a persona to America that many Americans who haven’t traveled simply aren’t aware of. We’re told by the media that the rest of the world hates us… but they can’t wait to train here, attend school here, open businesses here, and move here. America, whether you like it or not, is an exceptional country. 

I believe we represent an ideal that is still worth fighting and dying for even when we don’t live up to our own… or the world’s expectations. I feel blessed to have been born in this incredible country and serving it overseas to show the world who we really are. We’re still the most compassionate country on Earth and the most innovative. 

I’m proud to be an American and am thankful for everything this country still stands for. My Mom was Canadian and is one of the proudest Americans I know. My late Father instilled honesty and integrity into me, with a respect for American ideals and a zeal to protect those who can’t protect themselves. I’m so appreciative of them - I couldn’t have been raised by two better Americans! 

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Comment by Douglas Karr on July 4, 2015 at 8:11pm

Thanks, and to you and your family as well.

Comment by Leonard Lewis RM1 on July 4, 2015 at 7:45pm

Amen to that....hope your 4th was a good one too !

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