My father was a Veteran of WWII. He fought in the battle of the Aleutian Islands from June 1942 through August 1943. Japanese garrisons were established on a pair of islands owned by the United States, west of Alaska. Japan had seized the uninhabited islands of Attu and Kiska, in the Aleutian Islands. It was the only land that Japan would claim that belonged to the U.S. during the war. It’s believed the Japanese held the two islands to prevent the U.S. from invading Japan via the Aleutian islands.

The occupation was a blow to American morale. In May, 1943, U.S. troops retook Attu and three months later reclaimed Kiska. This experience helped them prepare for the long “island-hopping” battles to come as WWII raged across the Pacific Ocean.

I am so proud that my daddy was a part of that and he survived and was able to come home and enjoy the rest of his life with mom and me. The sad thing is that he died at age 62, unable to retire and really enjoy his “golden years”.

I give this background because I feel I need to explain why I feel so patriotic at times. I tear up when I hear the National Anthem. I feel pride for the soldiers in this country. The men who are willing to go fight for our freedom should be paid more than the men wearing helmets out on a football field – to be sure!

Today the most wonderful thing happened. I don’t believe anything in this life is coincidence and this is no exception. I was walking out of the Village Inn restaurant toward my car. A car pulled into the stall next to mine. I stood behind my car waiting for the folks to get out of their car so I could get in to mine. I watched a frail little woman come around the car from the driver’s side. She opened the passenger side and an older gentleman got out. He was a little bent, but his cap caught my attention. He was a Vietnam Veteran.

I debated in my mind and said a quick prayer. Should I speak or not? At that moment, as though God allowed me to see it, I saw the silver cross he wore around his neck – it was like God was telling me it would be alright to speak. I did.

We had the most wonderful conversation! They told me about their married life and traveling all over the country. It touched my spirit to hear about how they made a home wherever they went and raised their family. They told me they would not choose a different life if they could. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Their love of God and country reinforced my sense of patriotism and made me even more proud to be an American!

Just before they went in to the restaurant and before I got in my car, I mentioned that I was spending the entire week of Independence Day in prayer for America. They asked if I’d mind if we agreed in prayer for America and it was an awesome season of prayer and I knew God was in the center of that circle!

What a great day to go out for lunch, huh??? God bless America – and America, bless God!


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