I woke up this morning to freedom. Freedom to go back to hit the alarm snooze button or enjoy a weekend walk with my partner, his family who love me as well as with our rambunctious brood of four-legged family members. I chose to spend time with the ones I care deeply about, including our Nation’s heroes.
I have the distinct honor to work for the USO whose mission is to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families. I have the opportunity to work directly with our troops at NAS Pensacola, many of whom are furthering their education to be aviation mechanics, aircraft carrier support, and many, many other specialties who directly serve to protect our freedom. It’s nothing but phenomenal, really. These are young men and women who pass through our USO center seeking respite from the arduous physical training they endure on a daily basis to sharpen their skills to become a member of the most elite military in the world.
My favorite part of my job is getting to know the troops. Where they’re from and how they’ve never experienced a community as welcoming as Pensacola. (Aside from the double and triple digit temperatures and humidity index). They take it all in stride because the light at the end of the tunnel for them is the pride they get from wearing a uniform that has a universal meaning of freedom, pride and accomplishment. These brave men and women are doing something I wasn’t destined to do; however, without question, they salute our American flag, expertly represent their country and, most of all, fight for our freedom.
Exposed to a sea of uniformed troops; getting to work early enough to hear our National Anthem played across the site of the Nation’s Cradle of Navy Aviation, my purpose to serve our troops is constantly renewed.
When you are hosting an outdoor barbecue or enjoying time on your day off on a boat off Pensacola’s pristine coastline or elsewhere, always, ALWAYS remember the beautiful souls who gave themselves up for that freedom.
Not only should every day be Memorial Day, but it should be a day of remembrance and celebration of Memorial Days to come.
A million “thank you’s” for protecting our freedom. I wholeheartedly speak for the rest of the passionate Pensacola community in saying welcome to our city, our home, until you find another home in the confident hopes you’ll receive the warmest of welcomes for providing us our freedom. We absolutely could not do it without you.