4th of July: A Message of Gratitude

For the last 244 years, our nation has battled through war, controversy, and everything in between. We’re a young country—one that breeds competition, pride, and opportunity. This 4th of July, though different in celebration, we ask that you reflect upon that for which you’re grateful and apply that gratitude in a manner as to preserve our values through both your actions and words.

Veterans of the modern era,

The generally positive, patriotic appreciation given to our community throughout the Post 9/11, Global War on Terror (GWOT) is unique; It has not always been the norm. Years ago, a different generation of Americans returned from their own battles, fought against a seemingly invisible enemy in ruthless jungles far from home. Unlike today’s post-deployment receptions, filled with motivational posters and patriotism, Vietnam veterans returned from their gruesome battles only to be spit on, distrusted, and cast aside.

For most of us in the GWOT era, we have largely experienced the opposite. We have programs helping us gain admission to college, organizations designed to recruit veterans into high-paying jobs, and communities for the sole purpose of uplifting our mental health. We are lucky, and all I ask is that you consider these opportunities and reflect upon the positive conversations between yourselves and all those who ask about your service.

This 4th of July, celebrate safely, and remember that it is our collective character that shapes our nation’s strength. As we move through this year, which has been far more daunting than exciting, we can all strive to show gratitude in more ways than one. Welcome conversation, don’t deter it.

We wish you nothing but the best 4th of July, wherever you are.

The NSI Team