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Commentary: It's Independence Day 2011 - thanks to the troops

By Martin C. Boire

When we all go out and celebrate our liberty this Independence Day, let's each take note that it's the troops who gained that liberty for us in the American Revolution and it's the troops who protect it for us today. It is the troops, not the politicians, and not the courts, who then secured and today protect, your freedom.

Independence Day is a celebration of America's first military victory -- an independence gained for all of us by George Washington's army assembled from amongst us, and we have ever since enjoyed the beneficial results of their actions.

Independence Day is not merely a party day in which we enter into some temporary mental euphoria of "feeling free." It is a recognition of the hard work, self-reliance, self-determination, blood, sweat, and tears of the troops that it takes to gain and maintain a societal condition of many individual personal freedoms. It recognizes a freedom gained and protected by individuals stepping up for their fellows against the dark forces. It recognizes a freedom to not be told by a government what you'll do for a living, when and what you will work at, whether you're permitted to travel or not based on their evaluations, how much money will or will not be doled out to you, what you will be permitted or not permitted to do, whether or not you can engage in a particular business, and hundreds of other small everyday choices and decisions.

And just like George Washington and the Continental Army, our deployed neighbors even today leave their families at home and go around the world to many different places to look out for our liberties, livelihoods, and businesses.

And no matter where the troops are ordered to go, good Americans always stick up for the folks who stick up for them.

What, then, should we do for him, for her? Why, we can simply step up for them the way they have stepped up for all of us. We can show them what we are made of. We can show them we're with them. That we are willing to stand with them who stand for us. It's the simplest moral equation in the world. They support us, let's support them.

The first step to properly celebrating the Fourth of July is to do something practical for the troops who make it possible.

There's a war on. And each of us can answer this call to excellence in the way we best can. Everyone should step up and make the troops as proud of us as we are of them. Show them that we are worthy of their actions, -- that we are worth protecting.

Individuals -you- can donate to troop support charities, and send care packages to deployed troops round the world. They can help with family needs and the funding of special summer camps for military kids here at home.

Individual citizens are doing remarkable things for them all across this country. There are hundreds of groups sending care packages and raising money for military families here at home.

But most major retail stores and manufacturers are doing nothing and need to start doing a great deal. After all, their prosperity is a direct result of the domestic tranquility secured by the troops

For the Fourth of July retailers in America ought to be doing more than just decking themselves out in American colors to make a few extra bucks -- wrapping themselves in the flag so to speak.

For the Fourth of July every retailer, large corporation, and manufacturer across America ought to be prodigiously using the holiday to raise as much money and product as they can for the many troop support charities which do good things for America's troops and their families.

Yet as it stands, most military charities and troop support groups can tell you retailers do little or nothing.

Perhaps it is because they are scared. For example, one large grocery store chain in Florida hides from doing anything for the troops out of the fear that a few of its customers might not be able to separate the troops from the war. So what this boils down to is that in exchange for a customer's son or daughter risking their life to protect this retailer and its owners and employees and their families, this retailer is scared of losing a buck or two.

Therefore, to fulfill the first step of properly celebrating the Fourth of July, each good American doing business with any retailer during the Fourth of July holiday, should look around and see if the store is engaged in any type of commercial co-venture or fundraiser collecting donations for the troops. Are there $1 donation slips at the cash register? Are there products donating a percentage?

The second step to properly celebrating the Fourth of July is to keep this house in order if we're asking them to protect it.

It is really quite simple. If we are going to ask our neighbors to deploy as troops and risk themselves to protect us, then we ought to keep the place in order.

This place is a mess. It's as though they are being asked to protect a stricken party ship. And while they are nobly doing so they are likely wondering if we are going to let it sink or going to get it in proper order and back underway.

Each person, and each business, has an absolute fundamental moral obligation to do their part in keeping our national house in order in exchange for what we ask the troops to do for us every day.

So have a great Independence Day, go have some fun, and may God bless our amazing troops and their families who have made it possible!

Martin C. Boire is Chairman of SupportOurTroops.