“A champion is someone who gets up, even when they can’t” – Natalie Rogers

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The last few days I have attempted to give back to the military as much as possible. After just 2 events I have developed a deeper gratitude for all branches of service.

It is so easy to go about our day to day lives and not think about what, or who, makes it easy. If it weren’t for those in uniforms protecting our right to be free, life would be completely different and not in a good way.

I had the privilege of welcoming home over 500 soldiers with Operation Welcome Home Maryland on Wednesday night and into the early hours of Thursday morning. They were so overwhelmed and thankful that people were there to greet them and they actually thanked us. That made me think, how can people who have been fighting for months in another country be so grateful that we were there for a few hours to greet them. They weren’t expecting it. I feel that they should expect it. Why shouldn’t we show are gratitude? Welcoming home these troops is the very least we can do. I encourage everyone to experience this at least once in your lifetime. Find more information here: http://www.operationwelcomehomemd.org

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Today I visited the Wounded Warriors Hospital with Miss Maryland International. As I type this I am  trying to think of the right words to use to describe my visit, but there are none. I can say this, not one of the soldiers we spoke with was bitter or discouraged. Just full of pride and ready to dive right back into life after recovery. Let us all take something from my experience. Life is short. You never know what will happen, so make every moment count. Live with purpose and pride, the way those defending our country do.

Love, Crystal XO

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