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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Grace and Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Jared Whalen, Fort Jackson S.C. Basic Training Graduation
3rd Battalion, 60 Infantry Regiment " River Raiders"

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) by Toby Keith

Upon completion of the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina after a grueling ten weeks of unrelenting demands, another group of young men and women have earned the respect of  becoming part of the United States Army. Challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally, these soldiers have learned  the true meaning of perseverance, self-control and pride not only in themselves but in their country.

Fort Jackson trains more soldiers than any other Initial Entry Training Center in the U.S. Army.   
Their mission is to transform volunteer civilians into Soldiers in order to enable them to successfully complete Advanced Individual Training and contribute to their first units of assignment.  The Drill Sergeants ensure that every Soldier has the opportunity to not only change their lives, but to succeed at making this change. 

Only about 2% of the American people are serving in the military and about 3% of living Americans have served in the military. To think in this great country full of blessings and opportunity, such a small percentage actually volunteer a portion of their own lives to help guarantee such freedom and safety for the rest of us. What a blessing to be born amidst a land where the majority can feel secure within the safety of their homes. To wake each new day in control of its opportunity, with food on the table, clean water from the tap and warmth from the cold. Let us never take for granted the sacrifices of those responsible for where we as a people are today.

This Holiday Season, let us not only count our blessings, but include in our prayers all of those who cannot be at the dinner table with their loved ones. Take a moment to remember those who believe in the importance of making a contribution, to be a "leaver rather than a taker".

As a new Army Mom, I am proud to support my son's optimistic belief in career possibilities of his own choosing, and paths of opportunity made more realistic by being one of the Army Strong. 


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