It's Independence Day. 237 years ago, a revolution set us free. People sacrificed for the principles they believed in. People fought hard for this country, endured uncertainty and found their faith tested to it's core. Everyone was affected by the early struggles for our Nation's freedom. Thus began a long and storied legacy of continued sacrifices by brave men and women, for our Nation's freedom as well as freedom around the world.
Today, at this very moment, there are brave men and women around the world, doing the most unbelievable work in defense of liberty and promoting the values and principles of the United States of America. Though most Americans will never know the extent of what goes on abroad as our brave fellow Americans go forth in support of US foreign policy and strategic objectives, each one of us can be proud. People around the world recognize, on an individual level, void of political spin, that US servicemen and women, diplomats and others bring help, professionalism and a willingness to roll up our sleeves and get down to work with a spirit and skill that simply does NOT exist anywhere else on this planet.
The people that voluntarily go abroad, in whatever capacity do so because they are called to do this. They are, in most cases, specially chosen and trained for their jobs and sent into challenging and dynamic environments where they must solve real problems, and put aside personal differences and petty squabbles to get the job done, complete the mission, support one another and come home alive.
Each and every one of them who is forward deployed right now will, at some point throughout the day, stop and reflect on what it means to celebrate Independence Day in the US. Often, they will reflect on past July 4th celebrations with family and friends, or perhaps spend some time planning what they will do "next year" if they are lucky enough to be home for the "4th". If they are lucky, and are able, they may even have a slice of home at their FOB or Post or wherever they are around the world. A small, subdued but proud celebration with some barbeque chicken, (or close to it) and a few raised glasses toasting all those who came before, and are no longer with us but who gave willingly to defend our country. There will be phone calls home, and patriotic emails and updates sent around the world.
They will miss being home for sure, but don't feel sorry for them, for one second, or under estimate how awesome it is to get to serve abroad with teammates who share a common bond for the mission. Very few of them would want to be anywhere else, even on such a special day as July 4th in the US. They know they have important work to do, they know they won't always be able to do it, but that they must carry on while they can and keep pushing forward to get us to a better, safer place for our children. Ironically, at least one of their unalienable rights, takes them routinely and far away from the country they love most. They don't ask for much, and will never receive much for their sacrifices. They would never want pity, and know that most won't understand what they've been thru.
But if they had their chance to speak to you, in a candid moment, over a beer at some future July 4th celebration where you happen to meet, and if you asked in the right way, and listened in the right way, they might say something like this:
"We didn't do it for all those years, nor did those who came before us, just so our freedom can be wasted. We didn't do it so that our nation would become a nation of takers. We didn't do it so that our citizens would live in fear. We didn't do it just to watch our LEADERSHIP in this world erode because we continue to elect unprincipled leaders. We didn't do it just to watch us become a fat, lazy country full of complainers who are often overcome by small challenges, and are told how to think by Hollywood, DC and the Press. We didn't do it just to watch the US become, just another country.
We did it because this is the greatest country in the world. We are blessed with more resources, more opportunity and more FREEDOM than any other country in history. We are leaders in our world. We are innovators and producers. We are resilient and will come to the aid of those in need, but expect everyone to push hard every day of their lives to 'improve your fighting position'. We love our country, and will defend it to the last day we are able".
As I look around these days, I see far too many people that have forgotten, or take for granted all of the opportunities that we have in America. We all know people, including ourselves at times, who are simply doing their best to get by from day to day. Mentally we are tapped out as a nation. There is too much chaos and uncertainty in most peoples lives for any semblance of "pursuit of happiness" to play out, it's often more "pursuit of survival". I think that many of us have lost that fire, the ability to break out of our routines, take a look around and get motivated to change your course, get your life charged up again and regain some lost ground. We owe it to those who are still defending our freedom, to live awesome lives and keep our country moving FORWARD.
With all the distractions it's hard to know where to begin if you recognize the need for personal change, or even large group change in our country. We at Adventure Operations Group are advocates for ACTION. We'll leave the Political, Economic or International affairs to others, we're all about ACTION for Individual American Awesomeness. The platform we're running on is based on our 10 point plan:
Everyone in America needs to surf, climb, shoot, hike, paddle, get fit, learn to survive, live a mission, train hard and teach others. People who get on board with our plan will be better thinkers, risk takers, leaders, survivors, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, Americans! Almost everyone in the US is a 2hr drive away from being able to do one or more of the things mentioned above this weekend!
With relative ease you can take yourself or your family on a life changing experience, at least once a month. Very few countries on earth afford as much opportunity to train to be awesome as our country does. It's one of the ways you can use your freedom to enrich your life, and the lives of those around you. Don't waste another day. Take advantage of the freedom we all have to shut out the madness, turn off the TV, ignore the negativity, worry less about getting fired or promoted, eat less crap, drink more water, listen more, focus more and let's take our country back to awesome, one adventure, one mission at a time.
Happy 4th of July, from the team at Adventure Operations Group.
WELCOME TO ADVENTURE OPERATIONS GROUP
Adventure Operations Group (AOG) is a veteran owned company dedicated to the pursuit of adventurer. AOG's Training Programs and Adventures will take you "Beyond Normal Limits". AOG leads epic adventures, instructional programs, leadership training and assessments for individuals and organizations. Our programs are unique and emphasize mental focus, individual skills, leadership and personal achievement. We specialize in Human Performance Training. Working with AOG is the best way to achieve "next level" results for your corporate group or to enhance your personal capabilities. Contact AOG today to learn how we can get you or your team "Beyond Normal Limits".