This is America. If you want to put sugar in your grits, then, by golly, go ahead and put sugar in your grits. That’s your right. I may be taken aback and may even laugh at you for a second, but I’ll still sit down and eat with you any day. This is assuming you like grits. I don’t care whether you do or not, but you should at least try them. You may be surprised.
I love America. I can go out most nights to feed the horses. It’s something I enjoy doing, most of the time anyway. They wait for me next to their buckets while I lock up the chickens. The duck will quack a time or two while I do so. She’s just letting me know that she’s turned in for the evening, too. I have to secure the coop. There are too many critters out here that like to dine on chicken and duck. The horses can take care of themselves. We have to take care of the more vulnerable.
I love my country. Between the Regular Army, the Alabama National Guard, and the U.S. Army Reserves, I was honored to wear the uniform for more than two decades. I feel honored to have been able to serve the American people. I was honored to serve this great nation alongside men and women from every imaginable background there is. You name it; they were there. I love my country.
“America first” works for me. It doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t help others. Think of it like this; when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendant is giving you the safety talk, she says, “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” You can’t help others until you help yourself.
I’m one of those fans who loves Auburn but doesn’t hate Alabama—not even football hate, which is different from real hate, although I do know some people who really hate Alabama. Just because you love one doesn’t mean you have to hate the other. It’s a choice. It’s always a choice.
I feel the same way about politics. Being President of the United States is the toughest job on the planet. Many of our citizens will darn near worship the President and an equal number will hate to a point of mental fatigue, some nearing mental illness. We have seen that during the last two administrations. I just don’t get it. This is America. It’s not supposed to be like this. Fortunately, I do believe most folks are like me. We may lean a little to the right (like me – full disclosure) or a little to the left, but somehow, it’s those extreme voices that are most often heard.
I served under five Commanders-in-Chief: Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, and briefly under Trump. I’ve performed for the President George H. W. Bush Library at Texas A&M. As a medic, I cared for one of President Clinton’s Secret Service agents in Germany. I went to war under President George W. Bush. I’ve stood in the same room as President Obama as my friend was awarded the Medal of Honor. I have many friends whose lives were touched by President Trump when he visited our area after the devastating tornadoes in March 2019. I don’t hate any of them.
Now that President Biden is in office, the Republicans and Democrats alike have a chance to do the right thing, move forward, and get some things done for the American people. No matter what, you can’t please everyone. If you have more than one kid, then you know what I mean. Now, try pleasing 331 million.
I’m going to continue to pray for our President. I had the honor of talking with him on the phone a few years ago. We talked for about 20 minutes. Politics aside, I think he’s a good man. Like me, he’s a stutterer. That counts for something.
The past year has been unprecedented for us all, well, most of us. America’s oldest living person is 115-year-old Mrs. Hester Ford of South Carolina. 115 years old! She lived through the Spanish Flu. Teddy Roosevelt was President when she was born. Let that sink in.
She’s seen 21 different Presidents throughout her life, and she’s still here. Friends, it doesn’t matter who’s in office, WE are going to be OK, if YOU choose to be OK. If I’d known the last four years were going to be like the last four years, I would’ve written this when Mrs. Ford was a mere 111-year-old spring chicken.
We will be OK. This is America.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at email@example.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.