The 4th of July was our last holiday spent apart for this deployment. How fitting that the celebration of our nation's independence would be our final holiday before our soldier's return! We did the day up right, starting with an 8am streetwide 5K run/walk race. We had a fairly good turnout considering much of the street was out of town. I have mentioned this before but life on a military installation is unlike anything that can be found in the civilian world. Even without knowing the new person who just moved in across from you there will be several things you will have in common with them from the get-go: a deep love for Country, a willing heart to serve, similar rank...and probably kids! :-) Living on-post allows you to cut through the first 6 months of typical relationships and cut right to the meat of what matters. Besides, your neighbors could be PCS'ing before 6 months are over with! It was really nice to spend some great time with our neighbors, new and old alike, and exercise our bodies at the same time.
Shannon, Meghan, and Jenn...deployed spouses triple threat on the 5K!
Dylan and Miles. Yes, they're in their PJ's :-)
Our street kids. Too precious!
In the afternoon we continued our streetwide 4th of July celebration with a BBQ and games and contests for the kids. We had a watermelon seed spitting contest, a 50 stars search, and a water balloon toss contest. The kids had a blast! Each family brought their own meats and a few generous soldiers manned the grills for us. We had a slip-n-slide, a kiddie pool, and prizes too. It was a great event and we had about 16 or so families join us. Dylan and I stayed up to watch the post-wide fireworks display with some neighborhood friends. While we were waiting we lit off a few of our own. Of course Dylan and his buddy Miles were dazzled by the fireworks, regardless of whether they were our glorified bottle rockets or the thousand dollar display. Fire, gun powder, explosions, brightly colored lights? I mean, come on, a little boy's dream, right?
Miles and Dylan
Thank you, God, for this great land which affords us so many freedoms. May we NEVER forget the blood that has been shed to make it possible. May we NEVER take for granted the spirit of liberty that birthed this nation. And may we NEVER waver from our committment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
(All images except the firework picture courtesy of my friend Shannon! :-)