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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Voice of Democracy essay winner shares experience of soldier dad away at war

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Service and sacrifice by America's veterans benefit today's youth

War is a serious occurrence. It changes everyone it touches. Most of the time, though, we only think about the soldiers that fought in them. What we don't think about are the people back home; the spouses, families and especially children they left behind, the people that have to live without them. Many heroic acts the soldiers do affect American youth.

I learned many things during the two years my dad was away. One of the most important lessons was to always have faith. When your family members are overseas you have to believe they will make it back just like the soldiers have to believe they'll make it back to see their families.

Another important thing e veterans and soldiers teach us is even when you're afraid, you have to keep your head up and do what you have to do. If the soldiers quit everytime they were afraid, we wouldn't have a very effective country. You have to do what is expected of you, even when you don't want to and be willing to give it your all.

Working as a team is important in the army and equally important in the lives of young people. You can't rid an entire country of terrorists or even plan prom all by yourself. You have to be able to take orders and follow them through plus, you'll always have someone to watch your back.

Patriotic love for your country is one of the most important lessons that the men and women in the service can teach us. Our country is one of the greatest in the world. Our government is formed on the principles of freedoms and equal rights. It's an honor and a privilege to have opportunities and the life that we do in America.

Respect for the men and women that fight for us is a given. They literally put their lives on the line for us everyday. I respect my dad more than almost anyone in the entire world for what he does for our country. Yes, I'm scared for him to leave again, but I'm also so proud of how he is willing to leave his family to protect his country. It is a big sacrifice, leaving everything behind, knowing fully well you might not come back. It is a sacrifice that most of us wouldn't be willing to take. The soldiers do it without a second though. That deserves the highest respect.

If there is one thing I learned while growing up with mt dad missing two years of my life it is to be strong. When he first left, I would cry myself to sleep at night. I would stand in the hall and listen to my mom cry. That was the hardest time of my life so far. After the first year we got to go see him in North Carolina. Just seeing his face was a blessing and when we had to go back home, I felt different. It was hard to leave him again, but my dad had been strong for us. I wanted to make my dad proud and help my family through his absence.

I'm sure other young people have learned many other lessons from the soldiers and war veterans. There are so many ways that they touch not only younger Americans but everyone in the United States. They provide us with heroes to look up to and know that somewhere there are people that wake up every morning ready to defend our rights. I have learned many of the good character traits you need from the veterans. I'm a different person than I was six years ago and this time, because of what I have learned, I'm going to be ready to help my family get through my dad's leaving for Afghanistan.

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