I love my country — there is nowhere else I would want to live than in this amazing country —the United States of America. As a child, I knew my father was a WWII Navy Veteran, but he seldom talked about his years of service on an aircraft carrier. I asked but learned to respect his privacy. After he passed, I traveled to California on vacation with my husband. While in San Diego we visited the USS MIDWAY and met a wonderful veteran volunteering on this massive ship…imagine my surprise to discover that they served together! Though they did not know one another, they were on an aircraft carrier at the same time. As he shared his experiences, I began to understand why my Dad chose not to share more about his time in the Navy… life wasn’t easy, and responsibility was great for someone in my Dad’s position. In those two hours, my love and respect for my Dad — and for all those who served — grew immensely. As an Electrician's Mate 1st Class, Dad was always on duty. His responsibilities were great, his expertise necessary to keep his ship operational 24/7, bow to stern, port and starboard. And knowing Dad, there was no doubt he took his duties seriously and to heart. My Dad was small in size/stature, necessary to access & work in tiny spaces for extended periods of time, until the job was done. That day we were given a private tour of my Dad’s world. And my heart was forever changed. From that day forward, and with each passing day, the site of the American flag makes my heart beat a little faster. I understand the true mean of the Pledge of Allegiance that I used to say everyday in school. I am a volunteer for veterans groups and as a result, have met amazing men and women who gave so much of themselves, fighting and serving to ensure the many freedoms and privileges we have today. Through the years, so many men and women “gave some” and too many “gave all.” For our country. For each of us. By wearing FOR MY COUNTRY, I honor those men and women who served — then and now. And I lovingly remember my dear Dad who served so honorably and bravely, FOR MY COUNTRY.