A salute to the red, white & blue

What does patriotism mean to you?

WRITTEN BY JULIE SCHILLINGS

Kaiti Smith and fiancé, 
Army Captain Garrett Dean

Kaiti Smith and fiancé, Army Captain Garrett Dean

Since the fight for independence that began with the founding of our great nation on July 4, 1776, Americans have demonstrated a love and pride of our country through their patriotic celebrations and actions. Patriotism means different things to different people. Evoking thoughts of 4th of July BBQ’s and fireworks for some; while others reflect with pride the equal rights and freedoms granted by United States citizenship. We asked local residents... What does patriotism mean to you?

Kaiti & Garrett

“Sacrifice” is the first word that comes to mind for Kaiti Smith when asked what patriotism means to her. According to Kaiti, her fiancé, Army Captain Garrett Dean, symbolizes what it means to be a patriot. The West Point graduate is dedicated to his career in the United States Army, serving with pride and self-sacrifice.

Kaiti further explained that the sacrifice military families make on a daily basis is seen, not only as a responsibility, but as an honor. In fact, the Wichita couple put their wedding plans on hold when Garrett’s deployment to Afghanistan was extended. Kaiti recently graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law and fills her days studying for the bar exam while Garrett is completing Captains’ Training at Ft. Leonard.

“Garrett is very much proud of the United States and is honored to serve our country,” Kaiti said. “Our lives revolve around our commitment to the Army and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Nolan

Nolan

Nolan (age 8)

“Patriotism means to be loyal to each other and to honor the people who gave us freedom...also pride and joy in one another. That’s what patriotism means in my life.”

 
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