I thought I would start a new 'theme' for my posts on Sundays. This came to mind during one of my long runs for my marathon training. November in the Christian faith is a time for remembrance. We remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice with Veterans' Day and Remembrance Day. It is the time that show we are thankful when we celebrate Thanksgiving. I thought this would be the perfect time to reflect on the things that I appreciate about living here. This way perhaps I can expose you to somethings that you have not tried (I have surveyed you!) and see things from another perspective.
It saddens me to hear that people hate being stationed over here when it is such an amazing experience and 2-4 years fly by and before you know it, you are onto the next duty station. I love living here but I don't love everything about it. I can understand where people are coming from but the biggest tips I can give is not to look down on it (we as Americans have a habit of doing this) because its different, try to understand the why behind it. I find once I know more about something, it makes more sense (but I will never understand queuing!).
I am exposed to a lot of different ideas living over here and people from all over the world on a daily basis. I like to have discussions with people to understand how other people live life and their views. Sometimes this challenges the 'American way' of doing things that I know. I like to form my own ideas and when I express them, I am told I am not a 'Proud American'. I take great offense to this. I thought about writing and an angry post about why I think the USA is a great nation and all the ways I am a Proud American but you don't accomplish anything doing that.
I do think the USA is a great nation but as the old saying goes, 'there is more than one way to skin a cat'. I want the best for my fellow compatriots and think that there are things that we can learn from other countries. I get asked a lot of questions about the way things are in America and that often ends up me researching about it and writing another post.
I have been out of the military for almost 3 years and have lived in England since 2006. It has been a long and hard journey that I have had to take to arrive where I am at now. Getting out of the military is hard for everyone ask any veteran but doing it in a foreign country is a whole other ballgame. I have finally found my feet. This is part of the reason why I started writing this blog is because I wanted to share my experiences with you so I could save you from making the same mistakes that I have.
So in my first post, I would like to say thank you to my friends and family in England who have corrected me (lovingly I hope), answered my 'stupid' American questions and guided me to where I am today. You don't realise how hard its been for me to understand the quirky British ways and find where I fit in and become a better person and a better and proud American.