Patriotic Archive

Driven by What’s Inside

Posted February 19, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Those who follow my blog know I write stories of amazing people who do extraordinary things as part of their daily life. Today is not different. That being said, I feel I must set this story up just a bit. 

A friend, mentor and fellow trucker, Dee Sova, recently posted a picture on Facebook of a sign at a Walmart that read, “No Semis allowed.” This was a new occurrence since, if space permits, Walmart is very truck friendly. They allow truckers to park their rigs in their lots, get rest, replenish their supplies and head on down the road. 

When asked, the management of this Walmart said their customers were very frightened by all the trucker characters who filled the parking lots. Having met now thousands of truck drivers, this saddens me because my experience is that the majority of truck drivers are kind, courteous, hard working Americans.

And, in the year 2015, you’d be surprised at who is behind the wheel.

Take me for example. I have a PhD, have been very successful in corporate America and have long since earned the respect of my peers in my previous industry. I’m doing this because it’s an adventure and because I can. Sound dangerous to you?

Then there’s Dr. Randy (not his real name). He possesses a PhD and worked for decades as a aerospace engineer for NASA. When the space shuttle program was grounded, he was… ummm, outsourced. He had a family to provide for and the only job he could find to pay the bills was trucking. No welfare for him. He’s driving (and parking in Walmart parking lots) to be the head of his household. He probably won’t kill anyone as they walk through the lot.

And what about Dee? Well, when she’s not driving or endangering those customers’ lives by parking in the lot, she’s speaking to groups of people all over the country, telling them the importance of not drinking and driving. Her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Oh yeah, Dee’s a real scary person!

Let’s not forget Dave, who risked his own life on the infamous Cabbage Patch in the middle of the night when another driver’s brakes caught on fire. First, he stopped the driver who did not see his own flames. Then he pulled over and helped him put out the fire. Yeah, the world is a better place by keeping him out of that parking lot.

Here’s my point. Truck drivers are some of the most incredible, responsible, patriotic, hard working Americans I’ve met. They drive night or day, cross country or through LA to get the goods into the stores. When the storms rage, they drive through them and more times than not, they deliver on time. They are seldom thanked, often discriminated against, treated unjustly and yet you rarely hear them complain. They just take all in stride and keep on trucking.

People are people and what makes them good or bad is not whether or not they sit behind the wheel of a big rig. Driving an eighteen wheeler doesn’t make them a criminal any more than wearing black leathers and driving a Harley makes someone an Outlaw gang member. 

We are Americans and true Americans do whatever they must in order to care for their families. Americans are driven by what’s inside- a compelling to earn an honest living. Driving a truck is an honorable and noble profession that I am proud to be a part of. When I’m out on the open road hauling goods from one place to the other, I feel so patriotic. I’m doing my part at keeping the heartbeat of America alive and well. 

I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to be a trucker. I’m proud to live in a country where I have the freedom to live a life of adventure. Judge me if they must. Drive me out of their parking lots if they can but I’ll still have the satisfaction knowing that when they get inside, everything they buy was delivered by one of my brothers or sisters who took to the open road to keep this great nation going.

The Heartbeat of America remains alive and well. 

 

 

 

 

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Omar’s Journey: Coming to America

Posted December 31, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

The young boy was frightened awake from his slumber on the dirt hut floor by gunfire in his village. The rebels had staged another early morning attack. They drove through shooting anything that moved. Amazing how civil war and bloodshed had become routine. He’d come to expect it and like other African boys, he’d quickly developed the skills needed to keep himself from being captured by the rebels. There was a premium price for young boys that could be brainwashed and taught to fight against the government.

The country Somelia and this young boy dreamed of a land he’d been told about by a missionary. It was called “Merica” and if he could just swim far enough to get there, he would be free.

Omar grew up in this tyranny, all the while dreaming of coming to America. One day, he got his chance. He and a few other of his twenty-seven siblings snuck out of village under the cover of darkness and made their way across two countries to a refugee camp. Seeing their scars from countless attacks, they US embassy officials finally granted them sponsorship to the US.

Omar took every job he could to earn money and send it home to free the rest of his family. Finally, he discovered he could become an over-the-road truck driver and make enough money for his entire family. He has been driving for six years and because of the opportunity he found in the United States, almost every one of his family members have made it to our country. His country. Omar is now proud to be an American citizen. 

Omar will viciously defend our great nation against anyone who speaks badly about it. He has lived through the worst of circumstances and clearly sees the blessing he has in America. He is the hardest worker I’ve ever seen behind the wheel of a truck. He is polite, respectful, diligent, and now quite successful. 

I sat and talked to Omar for quite some time. I drank in his enthusiasm.  It was my honor to meet this fellow patriot. He is a hero in his quiet sort of way. Even though he was born on foreign soil, this man is as patriotic as they come. He proves that the heartbeat of America is alive and well!

 

 

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The Heartbeat of America is Alive and Well!

Posted October 17, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Storm BrewingI wound through the gears headed eastbound from the Kansas-Oklahoma border as an enormous size storm brewed in my rear view mirror. With tons of beef in the back, it was unlikely I would outrun it, at least not for long. The wind increased in force, blowing tumbleweeds across the road as I lumbered along at a governed 58 miles per hour.

I watched as farmers and ranchers prepared for the torrent, while horses and cows nonchalantly munched on grass, completely uncaring that the storm was coming. Grannies in their Buicks hearts raced as they tapped the accelerator, trying desperately to make it home before their shampoo and set was ruined.

I drove and thought about these people, complete strangers with whom I shared a common bond. We are all Americans. I realizedButte in New Mexico that must be the focus of my blog moving forward. I’m a story teller and people are changed by the stories I tell. God has gifted me and I must tell the stories of those I meet along the way.

Last year on the Road to Freedom Bicycle Tour (thanks for riding with me!) I discovered a truth I may have never known had I not pedaled into the backroads of our great nation: the Heartbeat of America is Alive and Well! In this time in which we find ourselves breathing and living, it’s so easy to lose track of that fact.

I feel it my duty- and my privilege- to bring you encouragement by telling the stories of our fellow Americans all across our land. I hope you stay with me for the ride. I trust you will share these stories with those who need to be uplifted.

Cody and Troops Trailer in Small TownI have always been patriotic, proud to be an American. I salute the flag and stand any time I hear our National Anthem, regardless of where I am. My American roots run deep. Since June, I’ve criss crossed the US countless times. I share a wealth with thousands of others I’ve met. It’s the treasure of being American. By birth or by boat, we are Americans and yes, in 2014 the heartbeat of America is alive and well.

I hope you’ll join me as we get reacquainted with America and its amazing people.

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Salute Our Veterans

Posted November 11, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Yesterday after church, I could not help but walk out in into the colors of autumn. Brilliant hues shown vibrant against a cobalt blue sky. The warm rays of a brilliant sun mixed with the nip in the air. It was a perfect fall day.

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I meandered for hours though mounds of leaves, strolled down empty sidewalks of a sleepy town before making my way to the Veteran’s Memorial on Main Street. I waded through over 4,000 American flags neatly placed in rows on each side of the sidewalk. They blew in the autumn breeze honoring those who sacrificed their own hopes and dreams to fight battles to give me the freedom to enjoy a Sunday afternoon. 

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Folks were already gathered for the Memorial Service that would soon be starting. I sat on the bleachers among elderly marines, soldiers, sailors, pilots and listened as they swapped stories of wars gone by.

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Though they were all from different branches of the service, they shared a common bond that I knew I would never experience with them.

I could only look on with gratitude.

Seven color guards from the local police force, the Boy Scouts and army marched in and took their places at their respective flag poles. We stood as Old Glory was raised and our National Anthem was sang. 

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Retired US Air Force Brigidere General Tedd Bishop shuffled to the microphone. His gait was unsteady but his voice was sure. No doubt from years of authority. He led us across battlefields in every part of the world. Heroes were remembered. Yes, in every war, we’ve kept score. 

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General Bishop honored those who sat among us and choked when remembering those who fell by his side, paying the ultimate sacrifice. It was clear they were gone, but they would never be forgotten.

After the benediction and TAPS, I walked back into a rich autumn day. My heart was filled with gratitude as tears flowed down my face.  I thanked God that I live in the greatest country in the world. Every freedom I enjoy–and yes, take for granted–was purchased by the brave men and women who unselfishly take up arms against anyone who would threaten our nation.

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Veterans, I salute you. I honor you. I thank you for keeping me safe. May God richly bless you and keep you on your special day… and always! 

 

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Let Freedom Ring!

Posted July 4, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Grunge American flagIf you turn on the TV and listen for an hour, you might conclude that America has lost its freedom. With strong political views on both sides of the fence, it’s difficult to know who’s right.

That’s why I try always to do two things:

1) Other than exercising my right to vote, I stay away from the political arena as much as possible.

 2) I listen very intently to hear the heartbeat of America.

I grew up in the south. We always sang patriotic songs. American the Beautiful, God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner could always be heard on special occasions.

Today, after having spent years on foreign soil, I understand how important those words are. Just to be able to stand in the shower andAmerican Flag Spirit of 76 belt out the verses is a direct result of the freedom so many Americans take for granted.

Truth is, I’m proud to be an American. My heart beats red, white and blue and I would die to protect our nation from those who would try to steal it.

When I look at Old Glory, the emotion runs deep. Regardless of where I am, if I hear the National Anthem on the television, I stop or stand at attention and proudly place my hand over my heart.

All that is dear to our lives today is a result of men and women who fought and died that we may have it. They sacrificed all they held dear, put on a uniform and took up arms against enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Today is the Independence Day national holiday in America. We’ll spend time with family and friends, fire up the grill and eat a spread that is five times bigger than it needs to be.

We’ll play baseball in the park, eat ice cream from a cone and when it gets dark, fireworks will light up the night sky. Many won’t even think about their freedom. They will be too busy living in it.

Would our forefathers have it any other way?

Purple Heart on American FlagToday, I pause and pay tribute to men and women who fought for my freedom. I look to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and our former leaders who dreamed of freedom and had the courage to pursue it.

I am grateful for the men and women who went halfway around the world after 9/11 to show enemies that American freedom is worth fighting for. I pray for the families of those heroes who returned only after the breath of life was taken from them.

Because of you, I live in peace.

Today, whatever your plans, take a moment to consider that you are free. Ponder that for a while and let that truth bubble up inside you. Let freedom ring in your life, in your activities and your heart today.

God bless America on this special day… and always!

How do you feel about your freedom? Share it here!

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[Podcast] Women of Passion, Episode 009: The Big Split

Posted May 29, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

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In today’s episode, I make an announcement regarding my podcast that I think you will be excited about. Also, since it is the week of Memorial Day, I give a patriotic tribute to America.

 

 

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Someone Purchased Your Dream

Posted May 28, 2012 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Freedigitalphotos.net/ Chuck Felix

Today, while most Americans are spending time with friends and family celebrating a three day weekend, I can’t help but remember the real reason for Memorial Day. Throughout the history of our great nation, men and women have given their lives for the purpose of freedom.

History is filled with stories of young boys who lied about their age so they could take up arms and fight for the cause. Women shaved their heads and pretended to be men before women were allowed to be in the armed forces.  Brothers fought side by side for liberty and justice.

Even today, our men and women who pledge to defend our freedom stand of foreign soil defending the helpless, battling enemies and, all too often, paying the ultimate price with their own blood.

Today I live my dream of encouraging others, helping them to discover the dream inside them, and guiding through the process of pursuing that’s important to them. As I write this, I’m sitting on my lake in silent solace. The only feathers that are being ruffled are those of the great blue heron as the strong wind from the tropical storm swirls around us.

I drink in the freedom I have to sit in safety and peace. To write this blog post that will go out to the world sharing my heart. I feel the full impact of my freedom of entrepreneurship, knowing full well so much of the world does not have that luxury.

I’m compelled forward with my dream knowing thousands of brave soldiers purchased my freedom with their own lives. They shed blood so that I can live my dream. I vow that I will give it my all, so that they have not died in vain.

 Let freedom ring in our nation. Let freedom rise up from within our hearts and propel us forward, toward our dreams. The right to do so has been purchased. It’s yours to pursue. May today remind us all to live while life is with us and to press on toward the mark and the prize of the high calling. Live your dream while life is with you. Freedom isn’t free.

 Today’s Challenge: Take some time between the beach and backyard barbeque to identify what freedom really means to you. Write down the dream you’ve been wanting to pursue and make a written vow to the solders lost that you will pursue it.

What is your dream? Have you begun living it? If not, why not? Take a step. Write it here. Tell the world you will not allow lives to be lost in vain.

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