Have you ever listened to the third verse of America the Beautiful?

It’s the one after the purple mountains majesty and the fruited plain and the pilgrim feet.

It’s the amazing one.

And it’s my favorite:

“O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife

Who more than self their country loved

And mercy more than life.”

Stop for a moment and take those words in.

The poignant truth written in every line….

….”who more than self their country loved”.

Those incredible brave men and women who sacrificed so much.

Soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines that faced almost insurmountable odds and overwhelming challenges…..

…..so that you and I could laugh and live in a land where freedom reigns.

Just Us

So today, on the eve of Veteran’s Day, I want to celebrate my handsome twinkly-eyed veteran who years ago stood at attention on the deck of his ship with his head held high….

….and bravely sailed off to face dangers unknown.

I’m so incredibly proud of him and everyone who has ever served our country.

I salute each and every one of you.

just two of us

And like so many military families….here are a few chapters in our story:

How It All Began

Boot Camp Graduation and Lee Press-on Nails

The Sweetest I Love You

I Will Be Here

The Perfect Pose

“America, America, God shed his grace on thee

And crowned thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.”

Happy Veteran’s Day.

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  1. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    When it comes to patriotism and the forefront. My mom and dad were so grateful that this country gave them a home and allowed them to prosper. I cry when I see a fly by!! When my son graduated from basic in Chicago - he was in the Navy. At the end there was a lonely trumpet that played Wind beneath my Wings. Well, there went the mascara. We were so proud of our son and yet we knew this was the time when he would be going off to who knows where. I'll send a big hug to you to give to your twinkling brown-eyed sailor. I'll give my airman a big hug and I'll send one to my wonderful son. How about tomorrow, as we wake up, we agree to say a prayer for all our wonderful military personnel, present and past, and the people who love them? God Bless them all.

  2. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    KariAnne, thanks so much for this post. I think we always need a reminder. Tomorrow my parents celebrate 52 years of marriage. They met while my Dad was stationed at Ft Bragg, NC in the Special Forces and that was his only day off so they quickly made arrangements to be married by a Justice of the Peace at South of the Border. He served for 23 years retiring after teaching ROTC at Murray State ( your neck of the woods). My husband also served for 4 years and fought in Vietnam and my son is currently serving in the Coast Guard ( 16 years now!). So you can see that Veteran's Day is a special one for me. I am so proud of our service men and women along with their families for their sacrifices.

  3. Image for Vicki Vicki

    As Americans, we have so much to be grateful for. Freedom. Religious choice. A voice unmuffled. Rights beyond measure. The ability to chose our life path. For the brave men and women who fought--and fight--to let our freedom ring, thank you.

  4. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    I will share this with my Navy Vet. He's going to love it! I grew up in a Military Family......and a post like yours today touches me deeply! Wishing You and Your Hubby a Great and Good Day Tomorrow as You Celebrate! Take care! :)

  5. Image for Kris Kris

    There are lyrics to verses on scoutsongs.com for America the Beautiful that I had no idea existed--here are a couple of them. O beautiful for halcyon skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the enameled plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till souls wax fair as earth and air And music-hearted sea! O beautiful for glory-tale Of liberating strife When once and twice, for man's avail Men lavished precious life! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till selfish gain no longer stain The banner of the free!

  6. Image for Deb Deb

    Beautiful post! It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks to your wonderful husband for his service to our country, and to you, because I know how difficult it is being family of a service member. Today marks the 239th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Oorah! My son has served with them since he was fresh out of high school. I cherish all of our men and service women. May they be watched over and protected. God Bless America

  7. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    Thank you so much for sharing and to your husband for his service. Did you take the tag off the blue jacket yet? LOL Blessings

  8. Image for MaryS MaryS


  9. Image for Diane Diane

    So beautifully put! I'm in the final countdown of when I can remove our proud service flag from the window. Our beautiful Marine Cpt daughter will be on her way back to the States in the next 2 weeks. Skype is wonderful, but I can't wait to get these momma arms around her!!!

    1. Image for Cindy Cindy

      Diane, Thank your daughter for me, for her service and sacrifice; thank you for your sacrifice too. I too, was that momma that put the service flag in our window and couldn't wait until I could start the countdown for when it would come down. That was a wonderful day, filled with blessings from the Lord, when our son who was in the army as a medic in Iraq came home. What a wonderful post, filled with beautiful reminders. Cindy

  10. Image for Debbie Esparza Debbie Esparza

    I want to thank your wonderful husband for his service. We are a beautiful and free country because of men such as him, and for that, I am grateful to him.

  11. Image for Patty Patty

    Please give your husband a kiss from me and tell him I said thank you. My husband went to our Transfer Station (a nice way to say our dump) and an older lady asked him if he served. When he said yes, she shook his hand and said thank you for your service. He told her it was a long time ago and she said that didn't matter - he served. When he told me he said it was no big deal, but I could tell by the look on his face that it was a big deal and that what she said meant a lot to him. My sailor and I salute you and yours and every one else that kept us free.

  12. Image for Teri Teri

    AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!! Thank you for putting beautifully into words what so many of us feel! I am proud to be an AMERICAN! GOD BLESS AMERICA and watch over us all, especially our brave men and women who give so much for our country! They give of their selves so freely and deserve so much more than we could ever give them in return! A big thank you to all of them for what they have done and what they continue to do for our country. And thank you to your hubby for his service to our great nation! Happy Veteran's Day - something we should remember everyday! :)

  13. Image for sheila @ MykentuckyLiving sheila @ MykentuckyLiving

    Thank you...and so well said. I was married to my hubby during a few of his military years...in the early 1970s. Both of my grandfathers were in the army. One grandfather was in WWI, and the other was in WWII. Here is a Kentucky angle for you...My grandfather who was in WWII with many many Kentuckians, told a story about being at the close of the war and those many Kentucky soldiers were recognized,....by the playing of the song My Old Kentucky Home. I bet there was not a dry eye among those folks. If memory serves me correctly they were in Paris, France. post script...my WWI grandfather was gassed, and presumed to be dead, and was placed on the "dead" pile...until a miracle. Someone saw one of his fingers move! I can report that he lived into his eighties right here in Kentucky.

  14. Image for lorene halfmann lorene halfmann

    Beautiful post. And by the way, I have been reading your blog a long time but just never take the time to comment. But today, today I just want to tell you that you are looking AMAZING!!! Just wanted you to know :)

  15. Image for Debrah Nash Debrah Nash

    Please thank your husband for his service to our country!! My Dad(I was an Air Force brat) served in Peace time and my father-in-law in WWII(He was 16 years old and my husband's grandmother signed for him to enlist in the Navy). Dad (FIL) served in the Philippines as a Seabee and built flight lines for the Army Air Corp to land on. His father served in the Spanish American war.. My son enlisted in the Army and after 9/11 did a Tour of Duty in the first year of the Iraq War. He came home forever changed! Patriotism and love of Country has a long history in our family!! I cherish the sacrifices and appreciate as President Abraham Lincoln said "It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." We must NEVER forget!!!!!!!

  16. Image for Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle

    Our wonderful country is at its' best and strongest, when we unite for right, as our brave service people do every day. If only our politicians could realize that and work together. Thanks to all our military people ... and to you, for this lovely post.

  17. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    What a wonderful post we should always show respect to all those who chose to fight for their country and for other countries because lets be honest here in many cases our soldiers go off to fight in different countries so they are not really defending their own country they are fighting to restore peace and stability in different countries

  18. Image for Caryn Buchhorn Caryn Buchhorn

    Thank you! both of my parents are WWII veterans of the U S Navy. My father is deceased but my almost 91 year old mother was a WAVE. My brother served during the Vietnam era. I have Revolutionary War Patriots too! My 6th Grandfather who was from Effingham County, Georgia died on September 11, 1776 at the Battle of Brandywine.

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