What Makes America Great


      Personally, I am biased on this topic of what makes America great. My older brother, Parker, is currently serving in the military. I believe it is people like him who make America great. Our active soldiers and our veterans are what makes America great. Without these incredible men and women, we would not have freedoms such as the freedom of speech, religion, or the right to vote. Many people living in the United States may take these freedoms for granted, but many people in other countries would love to have these rights. We owe these rights to the men and women sacrificing their lives for us.  When an American makes the decision to fight for our country, it is not an easy thing to do. He must sign his life away to the government for a period of time. I remember the day before my brother was about to go to boot camp. When it came time for him to leave, my mom said that when he hugged her, he said, “I never realized why people ever backed out before now.” She did not tell me this until after he left, but he also said that he did not want to leave me and Payton, my other brother. Family is just one thing that military personnel have to give up. 
      Every Sunday I would go to church with my mom, dad, and brothers. That is however, before one went to the Navy and the other to college.  All Americans, like my family, worship whoever and however they want, something that citizens of other countries do not have the freedom to do.  In some countries such as Iran, North Korea, and Sudan, citizens are forced to practice whatever religion the government rules under. One could be executed for worshiping Christianity or other religions in the Islamic Republic of Iran and other foreign countries. In the great country of America; however, we have people training for years to go to battle if needed to protect this right of religion. Soldiers put their bodies through physical hell to prepare them for the call of duty, for a call of duty that may take their lives. These brave men and women do not sacrifice their lives for themselves; they do it for the millions of Americans in the country they call home, for the Constitution they uphold. 
      When I turn 18, I will register to vote. I will obtain a sample ballot and educate myself on the politicians like a responsible adult. At the polling place, I will fill out the ballot with my own choices for office because I believe that to be my duty. I believe it is my duty to vote, but I also believe someone should not vote if he or she is not willing to research the candidates. Once I enter my ballot, I will gladly accept the “I Voted” sticker and go home. The rest of the day, I will be at peace knowing that my educated opinion will make an impact on the lives of Americans tomorrow. 
I am a football player, and this past football season did not go as smoothly as the team was hoping. In fact, we ended up facing adversity the whole season. Our coach told us that we need to buy into the system, the system that he sets forth, and if we do that we will change our season around. I, however, believed that the problem was not that I and my teammates were not buying into the system, rather it was because we were not practicing long enough. I proceeded to make a social media post about the team needing to practice longer. I did not bash any coaches or teammates; I simply stated that we should be doing more. Word got out about the post and my coach almost kicked me off the team. He later apologized for the incident, saying that he was under the impression that the post said something different due to rumors. Luckily, my teammates backed me up. This situation almost made me feel like I have no voice, like I did not have freedom of speech. 
       America is great because veterans and active soldiers protect freedoms we as Americans take for granted. Because of these brave men and women fighting to uphold our Constitution, we have the right to vote, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. In America, we believe these freedoms to be our right. They are truly our privilege; however, a privilege given to us by the ones willing to give up their lives for  us Americans.

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