For the first time in years I was able to look at the family photo album. My grandfather took pictures of everything…the house, the car, family events, etc. When I was a child I recall thinking how it was odd. Glancing through his photo album this morning it hit me and a rush of appreciation and gratitude emerged for him and every soldier.

Grandfather had to fight for freedom twice. First to escape the Japanese from invading China and then again when he voluntarily fought against them when he became a U.S. citizen. Grandfather saw the Japanese take his parent’s land. He saw the brutality, lives losed and knew he had to create change. Voluntaring to fight for something you believe in was for him, an honor and one that came with even greater sacrifice and courage when he was constantly referred to by some as a Jap.

Regardless, Grandfather was the ultimate immigrant success story. He lived with belief that he had nothing to lose but everything to gain. This was done strictly by nonstop minimum wage work. This belief and our freedom is what makes this country so great. This county is founded by immigrants. We can’t forget that our ancestors all came here for various reasons. This was the land of opportunity. In America we have the means and freedom to change our economic status. In many countries this isn’t the case.

Now I understand why grandfather was so proud. Now I understand why every happy moment for him was captured. He was proud of the ability to live, to be free, to own and freedom to create his own success. So to every soldier, thank you. We simply wouldn’t be where we’re at without you.

And thank you grandfather for your numerous sacrifices. I understand now why you were so proud and took the time to capture each moment. I understand why every moment was a blessing to you. I now understand why you always pushed us to want more for ourselves. I hope you can read this heaven. Thank you.

#countingblessings #honoringthosethathaveserved