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A Patriot's Voice
July 6th, 2012 9:43 AM

A Patriot's Voice

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Appraisal Buzz is proud to publish this article from Andrew Belt. We asked him to do a special article for July 4th due to his military background. Thankfully he obliged. We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did. We want to thank Andrew and all the servicemen and women, past and present, for their sacrifices for our great Country.

by Andrew Belt

"AND OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE." I have this inner voice, right at the millisecond pause immediately following this verse, wanting to scream out "Hell yes it was" and make Francis Scott Key proud of today's generation of defenders. On this 4th of July we salute the brave men and women who have protected the United States Flag and its symbol of freedom for centuries. And we wish a heart-felt "Welcome Home" to the veterans of the 10-year Iraq war.

We Americans are a very diverse people. We concentrate most of our time moving in different directions, celebrating our freedom and compartmentalizing our lives. But we have a great capacity for pulling together in times of calamity and festivity. We reacted as one with patriotic fervor when the World Trade Center was attacked. From flooding in Louisiana to fires in Colorado, aid, volunteers and compassion flow to our stricken areas. We will watch with great pride as our athletes compete later this month in the 2012 London Olympics. And on July 4th, amidst the hillside blankets and oceans of scurrying kids, we will pause and suddenly be reminded that there is a common thread between us.

That thread came with great sacrifice, centuries of blood, sweat and tears and entire generations of excruciating hard work, "honest work."

For many of us, that 15 minute show of bombs bursting in air will suddenly bring those sacrifices into focus. The revolution, as our patriots defended our new land and freedom from the red coats. The GIs who stormed Omaha beach to triumph over the Germans and literally saved the world. The warriors who fought inch by inch up Iwo Jima and planted our flag in the Pacific. The Korean War veteran who froze to death in Inchon while surrounded by divisions of Chinese. The Vietnam veteran who called in a napalm airstrike on his own position to save his company. The modern American soldier who is battling an entire region of plain clothed suicide bombers using IEDs and Stone Age guerilla warfare…

As a Veteran myself, four glorious years walking the earth as an active duty United States Marine, looking back, it was probably a pinnacle. It was a conduit allowing me in a very deep personal way to be part of the 237 years of "I love this land." There truly is something to be said about the value of something you had to fight for. The theaters have changed and so has the mission. But sending rounds down range in combat hasn't changed at all. It's the same trigger squeeze. It's the same cold steel and, I assume, the same thought of "this is my flag and I'll be damned if someone or something is going to threaten it." The esprit de corps of what prior defenders of the flag gave and instilled in us.

I know that's what got me through the city of An Nasiriyah in late march 2003, as my infantry scout team fought its way across the Euphrates river into the heart of what later became known as "ambush alley", a seven mile stretch of hell intended to stop the American forces. And that same spirit has helped countless others through their sacrifices to ensure our future freedom.

The one thing that remains the same, the spirit that binds us as a nation, is symbolized by that flag. As we drift off in thought for a brief moment this year, with sparklers blazing and smoke billowing, reflect on the thread that binds us. The American to your right and the American to your left will be joining you in celebrating our nation's birthday and sharing your pride in the "land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Andrew has been in the real estate industry for over 9 years and is a proud United States Marine Veteran. Andrew's career in the mortgage and valuation industry began after his honorable military service ended in 2003. Belt formed the company on the belief that today's financial firms are in great need of valuation service providers that are built upon the same founding values of our military; SERVICE, LOYALTY, HONESTY and INTEGRITY.

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Posted by Roch Lemieux, III on July 6th, 2012 9:43 AMPost a Comment



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