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Capt. Paul Sherbo USNR (Ret.)
Military author Paul Sherbo in Iraq

Independence

My son, Andy, sent a note about the 4th of July to friends and family after he had returned from  overseas.  I came across it while going through some old emails and would like to share it here. 

"This is my first 4th of July celebrated in the United States for several years, but I can honestly say I've never felt far from home. I think this is because of something to do with the oath we take as members of the US Armed Forces. We swear to uphold and defend not a king, or a people, or a plot of land, but the Constitution and what it stands for - the equality and freedom of mankind, and the continued efforts to create a society that can balance and integrate these truths with the necessities of reality. Even as children we swear allegiance to the Republic our flag proudly represents.

"As Americans, we owe our fealty to nothing less than an idea.

"A Soldier I knew in Germany used to joke, 'Am I standing here? Then this is America.' As silly and jingoistic as that is (and was meant to be), there is truth in it. No matter where I go, and no matter what happens here, my country is alive. If all our borders were crossed, if every flag were burned and the halls of congress torn down, all it would take is one beating heart to keep believing in the dream and my country would survive.

"And so whether abroad or at home I carry my nation with me as surely as I do my own family. Our country is not made up of institutions and land mass. These are only what we have built to give us what we need - an arena for the ongoing revolution that is democracy. America is made of people committed to that revolution, and it is because of that - because of us - that I have faith it will never end.

"Freedom endures, and the pursuit of a more perfect union goes on.

"Happy Independence Day, my friends."