I would like to thank you, personally, for all you did or do. I appreciate all the hard work you put in so I would have even the freedom to write this journal entry to you.

I thank you for the endless hours of sweat, blood, and tears. When I bicker with those I love most, I cry. When I fall because the strides I take are too inconsistent, I bleed. When I simply walk my dogs in the sun, wearing nothing but leggings and a hoodie, because I wasn’t aware it would be 78 degrees, I sweat.

Egocentric, cavil, and human, I sometimes forget all the effort others put in because I can’t see it. Today I mourn at the loss of my grandpa and think just how much work he put in for this country as well as all of you.

A senior in high school with my dreams at an arm’s reach, I begin to decipher what I want to do in these next few years – perhaps being a teacher to the special needs or a teacher for young students in order to help their development for their next 18 years.

When I was a young girl, I wanted to be an artist on TV, not because I wanted to make beautiful trees like Bob Ross, rather because I wanted people to watch me and be proud in all I did. Then I think about you.

Nobody sits on a hill of the battlefield saying “good job soldier;” perhaps we should. No matter the support you get or don’t get, you are on the minds of people all around. That’s what I strive to be: a hero, always on minds because of my achievements make a difference in people’s lives whether they see me directly or not.

Thank you for making a difference in my and everyone else’s lives. Thank you for also helping me to discover what I truly want to be.

– Rylee Kearney

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