While attending an Army formal affair for my husband's battalion where many soldiers and their spouses were in attendance, I was privileged to observe something that captivated me. In keeping with tradition the ceremony included the posting of the colors. As the color guard began their journey, all in attendance immediately jumped to their feet, standing straight and tall. Each eye was fixed on the flag as it made its way through the room. Their gaze was steady yet revered. They seemed to hold their breath, waiting with anticipation until those precious colors had come to rest and silently presided over the evening's events. Such esteem, such respect is seldom observed anymore. Yet on this night it flowed with ease, practiced and rehearsed many times before. Before me each soldier in attendance was dressed in the best they had, looking stunning and decorated. While the drum roll played, I tried imagining them in their field uniforms in the midst of battle, covered with dirt and debris, fatigued and home-sick. While the two sights stood in stark contrast to each other, one thing was constant. The same soldiers who watched unfailingly until the flag was posted at the head of this ballroom would watch unfailingly over it in a time of war as well – making sure that all it stood for was upheld, guarded, preserved, and protected. They had dedicated themselves to those colors and would not rest until they were properly defended and held high world-wide for all to see that this is STILL they land of the free and the home of the brave. America's military, thank you for teaching and reminding us what dedication means, what selflessness is, and what it means to "…more than self [your] country love…".


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