Welcome to Fried Green Tomato Friday.  I usually have funny posts this time of the week, but this one is a little more serious.  Hopefully, it will make you think.

Back in November when I was in the middle of NaNo, Piper Bayard’s writing partner Holmes was interviewed by Ellie Ann Soderstrom’s blog about being an intelligence officer (click here for the post).  I made a comment on the post, and Holmes’ response stopped me dead in my tracks.  With his permission, I have copied the response below.

“I tend to take a very broad view about what constitutes national security. I am one very small piece of a huge mosaic. I am always aware that many people have given far more than I have to ensure the freedoms that we enjoy in our western civilization.

There are young people (and a few old ones) in and out of uniform around the globe risking their lives for us as we write this blog. We should never forget that they will not all come home alive or with their limbs intact. Whatever I have paid is insignificant compared to their sacrifices.

One need not carry a rifle on foreign soil to defend freedom. When a nurse does his/her job well while short staffed, when a good teacher manages to inspire a child while managing a class of thirty youngsters, and when a factory worker avoids short cuts and turns out a truck that works properly they are all using their integrity to make us strong enough to maintain our freedoms.”

While the first paragraph shows Holmes’ humble nature, and the second paragraph expresses most people’s gratitude for those who sacrifice life and limb, the third paragraph was the one that floored me.  As individuals we have to be aware of how our actions, no matter how large or small, impact our nation.  I work in manufacturing, and I’m damn proud of it.  I sell industrial products to keep businesses running; conveyor belts specifically.  I’ve always taken personal pride in the companies I’ve worked for, and the products we produced.  However, I never really considered what Holmes pointed out above about how it strengthens our nation when we take pride in what we do and accept nothing less than our best.

Thanks for making me think, Holmes, and thanks once again for your service to our country.  So do the rest of you agree with Holmes?  I know I do.  How can we strengthen our nation by small acts?  Let us know your thoughts.