Saturday, July 2, 2011

An American Boy

What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man.  The boy can best become a good man by being a good boy--not a goody-goody boy, but just a plain good boy... 

"Good" in the largest sense, should include whatever is fine, straightforward, clean, and manly.
--Theodore Roosevelt

At times, it's hard these days to see a bright future for America.  The haters of this country and our way of life have infiltrated our schools and universities.  

So much so that one might send off a bright, conservative, happy young person to college and get out of it extremely high anxiety about the sort of thinking their son or daughter learned in this "institution, as well as recitation of a cynical, jaded view of this special place--America--that we think is so great....

And then to top it off, that young person starts life saddled with a student loan repayment mountain to climb -- as well as high unemployment numbers and few prospects for his immediate future.

Was it all worth it?

Will they someday see why we love the America we were taught about in school?  

Or will their new world view catch them in the trap of apathy, inaction, entitlement attitudes and laziness, so that they have nothing to hand off to their children?

How can we send men from our families and homes and out into the greater world still holding the American Values dear?

By not giving up on the good.
By doing right when it seems futile.

I worry about our boys.  
They are not being allowed to be boys as they should sometimes.

They are being put on medications for ADD in elementary school...sometimes during kindergarten or first grade?  They are taught they are somehow wrong for wanting to wiggle, run and explore. 

This safety-crazed culture wants to strap them down from the minute they are born into car seats, high chairs, and strollers and every other sort of device, and our pediatricians scare young mothers to death about every single possible thing that can go wrong.  

Schools are chosen while the kids are still in diapers and mothers are competing with each other in the "I care more" department --rather than just enjoying the adventure that is childhood: that will leave all too soon.

Boys are important.

Men are the defenders of this nation.  
I know there are women who enlist and are soldiers, but by and large, men are the defenders of our freedom.

Let's not discourage them from serving and loving their country.

Yes, there is plenty not to like about our sons choosing the armed forces:  the main reason?  Recruiters lying or deceiving young men, at times, just to make their quotas.

Worst of all?  Politicians using our soldiers to their political ends.  
It's enough to make any mom or dad of a recruit jaded.

But once those boys begin their service, they truly aren't pledging their service and their lives to the President or his cronies in Congress, they are there, serving us:  HOME and all that home implies, and for the brother in arms that is next to them, behind them and in front of them.  

When and if that stops being true, we really are in trouble.

All we can do is pray for that young soldier and his brave friends...and that the leaders of our nation will once again hold the values that formed our nation dear to their hearts, that they will live them, and will make their decisions about our defense with the wisdom of those values in mind.  

And that they'll ask for wisdom from God -- knowing that just in the asking, no problem is bigger than He is.

That is our job in defending this nation and holding up the boys who choose to serve--we have to serve those boys here at home, while they are off and away.

Pray for our soldiers this weekend (and always).

And, fly a flag.

This is my son-in-law.  
He is a veteran of the war in Iraq, he was there when the battalions rolled all the way to Baghdad in '03.  
He served, came home, got on with life and went to work--and works hard every day.

He's married to my daughter now, and they have a son.

On Memorial Day, the town where they live was dedicating a new war memorial.  Thad chose not to go that morning.  He waited and went later in the afternoon, when everyone was gone--just him and his little family.  

My daughter snapped this picture when he was standing respectfully with his son, quietly observing the new memorial.  

This photo speaks volumes to the kind of man he is, and it brings tears to my eyes.  

He wants no recognition for what he did: actually he avoids it.

I wanted to share it because this is one of the good American boys I am talking about.  

He went through war, but doesn't want to talk about it.  
You will never hear him tell stories about it, nor brag.  
If you thank him for his service to our country, he will tell you he was just doing his job.

He is a man.

An American man.

He has reasons--if he chose to be cynical, but he will never miss an election.

He knows what a vote costs.

And, now, he's raising another precious, good American boy.


taylors*farmhouse*attic said...

A WONDERFUL post!!!!!...Happy 4th of July!!~~hugs,Jen

Anonymous said...

Amen,Amen and Amen, God Bless the USA!

~Sara said...

You have such a way with words. Bless you for your outspoken words about what is "REAL"!I love all of your posts. Wishing you and your family a Blessed Holiday!! ~Sara

Laura said...

Wow! A great post for this weekend, Joni!
A Happy Fourth of July to you and yours! And you are so right about boys...

Lillie Mae Acres said...

Thank you so much for this great posting. I can tell a lot of love and compassion went into it, and oh my goodness how you nailed it right on the head about what's happening today to the little boys that will one day be men. I brought my son home after the 4th grade to homeschool and let him run FREE and be all boy. We were blessed to be able to do that, and today he is a fine young 17 yr old that is headed in the right direction and is more mature and stable than a few guys we know already in their twenties.

denise said...

amen,sister!! my son in law is a soldier,too.he's on his 3rd tour in afghanistan.he'll be home in about 5 weeks. God bless America!!! denise

Pauline said...

Beautifully stated . . . you have such a gift of writing!!

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

Precious post, Joni!
Happy 4th!
xo, misha

joy said...

So true and well put! Thanks for this post! I agree, our boys are so wonderful. Happy 4th, and God bless America!! Love, Joy

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Happy Fourth to you Girl!

How have you been!

Another fantastic post! Gotta LOVE the boys! You should see mine - he is a brown as a berry and all scraped up! So cute! My little Man Cub!

Yours is HUGE! When did THAT happen!?

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

Amazing post! Including this in my Saturday Shoutouts. Hope you had a wonderful 4th!

mary your sis said...

God bless our boys! And God bless Thad for choosing to serve and for raising that good little boy to be an American man!