Graduation Speech: Dedicated to Our Soldier-Parents

Graduation Speech: Dedicated to Our Soldier-Parents

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Eighteen years ago 134 young souls breathed life for the first time. We all have come from different places with no way of knowing that one day we would all end up being on the same stage together. Unlike most of the Class of 2012 in the States none of us here went to elementary school together, or middle school, or even all of high school. We come from a very different life experience than most. Most of us have never been the same place for more than a few years. That's only one of the many differences we have with our peers stateside. Another major one of course is the fact that we have spent most our high school lives in Europe. We live in a foreign country with different laws, a different language, and different customs. Many of us have also had the opportunity to travel to numerous countries around Europe and experience those societies as well. In an increasingly globalized world I believe because of our experiences with foreigners that my classmates and I are much better prepared to move out into the real world than any other graduating class anywhere in the States. Some of you may think that that is a bold statement and that's because it is, but it's the truth.

My classmates and I have walked a path that has never been walked before. We have been forced to deal with a deployment from a deployment. We are all deployed to Europe and then we are forced to live our lives as normal as possible in this foreign land while we have parents deployed again to Iraq and Afghanistan for at least a year at a time. We have to mature faster and take on greater responsibilities than average teenagers. While a parent is deployed we go day to day trying to make it through school, extra-curricular activities, and community involvement, all while knowing that our parent-soldier could be getting shot at in a combat zone and that today—might be the day we find out we will never hear from them again.

Tonight we are in the presence of true heroes, men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line; who are willing to suffer through year away from their family, all to help an oppressed society enjoy the very freedoms that we so often take for granted. These heroes also happen to be our parents, the people who have suffered through us the longest and somehow they still find it in their heart to stick around, I don't know how you do it.

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To all our soldier-parents, and the parents that stay behind and keep us safe and out of trouble, we love you more than our young hearts can show. For all the teachers and volunteers who have helped us with everything, we give you our eternal thanks and appreciation. God bless you all and all those who are downrange and especially those in the presence of the Lord who will never have the chance to be there as their children grow and graduate. Thank you everyone and goodnight.
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