Nothing here yesterday–I’m sorry–as my wife and I were fairly preoccupied with a wedding yesterday afternoon and last night. The affair was absolutely beautiful, even aside from the hors d’oeuvres and the martini bar, and the bride and groom look like they had a fantastic time.
That all sounds wonderful, but why write about it here, you may ask. Well, there are two reasons:
First, in the case of yesterday’s wedding, the bride and the groom–two young conservatives who met on a national debate team–planned, arranged for, and paid for everything themselves. And this wasn’t some rinky-dink affair (not that there’s anything wrong with that, as I’ve been to some absolutely glorious wedding celebrations on a very small and intimate scale). They had twice the number of guests that Joanna and I had (nearly 300!), and hosted it at one of the nicest spots in downtown Philadelphia.
Second, Joanna and I had the opportunity to meet with a military couple at our table. He was a pilot in the Air Force who had been serving in the Far East and deployed several times to the Middle East; she was serving, too, as the selfless young wife of an Air Force pilot, as the mother of their young kid. Every time I meet or speak with one of these families, they floor me. Every time, they renew my faith in America, they blow me away with their sense of duty and love of country. And this was no exception.
One of the things I must give President Barack Obama credit for is the expansion of the G.I. Bill, which now affords our servicemen and servicewomen more of the same opportunities that those who served fifty years ago enjoyed. Now, the education benefits have increased, and those benefits can be transferred from parents to children. I asked the pilot and his wife about the program, and they were ecstatic.
Now, I know that Obama didn’t write the new G.I. Bill, but he didn’t have to sign it, either, given his prior tendencies toward the military. And I know that the bill is probably not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. Good for him. I’ve mentioned several times that I will recognize when this president does right, just as I recognize when he does wrong — in this case it’s the former, not the latter, and from the impression I received of the young couple at our table last night, I’m glad that they have the opportunities that they do.
He’s enrolled in a Master’s program with an online institution, and says that because of the new G.I. Bill (and the old one, too) most of his online classmates are also military personnel. And I’m not surprised, as our troops do represent the best of our nation, regardless of what Sen. John Kerry and his colleagues may say.
Last night, the only thing that outweighed that couples drive, ambition and patriotism was their character. And, like nearly every other such family, they left me with a renewed faith in America. I don’t know where they stand politically, but I know that their child will be raised well, and I know that we are a safer and stronger nation because of not only what this man does, patrolling the skies, but of what his wife was doing as well, in providing endless support, love, and faith of her own.
Love, faith and support. The couple at our table had it. And I know that the bride and groom will as well. From experience, I know it’s the greatest thing in the world.