Fourth of July 2014: Let's celebrate our heroes

Is there anything that raises goose bumps higher than a military flyover at a Fourth of July celebration?

Not in my town.

Not even that perfectly grilled burger, juicy slice of watermelon, or even the sparkling fireworks fountain of red, white, and blue can compare to that zooming roar of thunder.  Lucky for us we don’t have to choose. In my town we celebrate freedom with parades that might include a military tank rolling down Main Street, followed closely by a rodeo queen decked out in a patriotic sequin vest riding her prancing horse, or Farmer Bill’s granddaughter sporting pigtails while pulling a wagon bedecked with twirling pinwheels and filled with squealing piglets. The air will be scented with the mouthwatering aroma of cotton candy, funnel cakes, and mom’s apple pie. Along the parade route you’ll see miniature American flags waving and you’ll hear the "Star Spangled Banner."

If you look past the sights, sounds, and the aromas, you’ll see what really matters to us. Family. Friends. Community. And our military heroes—the men and women who make up a large majority of where I’m privileged to live.

I write romance novels. Yes. Those books you see with either a romantic couple or a hot guy on the cover. Think what you want, I’m not going to apologize for a career I love.  In my line of work, I get to write about heroes. What could be better?

In my newest release, "Something Sweeter," the hero is a former Marine as are the heroes of my last two books.  The hero in the book before that was an Army Ranger. I’m lucky enough to live near not only an Army Air National Guard base but also an Air Force base. On my little farm, I get my very own military flyovers as the jets head out to their training area. When I shop at the local grocery store I always catch a glimpse of a soldier in camo pushing a shopping cart while this real-life hero or heroine shops for their family. I see the tears in their eyes as they board a plane for deployment and leave their families behind to go to the Middle East. And I see the joy on their faces upon their return. I also see and feel the devastation and sorrow when those heroes don’t come back. Many in our small community have not come home. Many others have returned in very different mental and physical circumstances than when they left.

So how can I not be inspired or want to tell happily ever after stories about the generosity of a heart and soul willing to put themselves at risk to preserve our freedom?

This weekend, as I stand on Main Street, USA, alongside my family, friends, and neighbors, I will exercise my right to eat a snow cone, wave my flag, and thank our military—past, present, and future. And as those A-10s thunder overhead, I’ll probably shed a tear.

Yes. I write about love and heroes.

God bless America.

Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. Terry has experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers, and her quirky wealth of experience color her writing in a unique way. From the screen to the printed page, Terry is carving out a well-deserved niche for herself in the world of hot new contemporary romance. Please visit her on the web at www.candisterry.com.