I am always a few days late on blogs related to big days. I guess it takes the day itself to jog my thoughts sufficiently to write something. Bottom line today: We have a lot to be thankful for here in America.

I am thankful for my family, friends and Life’s successes. My wife loves me, and we enjoy nothing as much as being together. Both my sons are healthy, have graduated from college, have jobs, have married beautiful girls who are help mates with strong personalities that compliments the boys. One son has his master’s degree, the other one is working on his, and the older one is expecting our first grandchild in April. I have numerous close friends whom I admire and enjoy being around. I even have a few really close ones who love me, but are not so impressed by me to be unwilling to tell me when I am about to screw something up. All in all, I have had a life that I would not care to trade with anyone.

I am thankful for the young men and women who are willing to stand up and defend our Nation with their lives and limbs. It does not take too many trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda Naval Hospital (now combined), or the main hospital in Baghdad (and I have made many such visits) to know their sacrificial spirit. When you see their wonderfully bewildered faces in airports, as strangers approach them to say thanks or to buy their comfort food dinners, you realize what a treasure they are. Like the heroes of past conflicts, they honestly think they have done nothing out of the ordinary; “Just doing my job,” or “Just doing what anyone would have done.” No guys; you are real heroes, honest.

I am thankful for our Nation that has matured from the time of the Viet Nam War to now. Unlike then, we have figured out how to decouple political policies and decisions about which reasonable people can disagree from the superb young men and women who are called upon to execute the actions that implement those policies. We no longer spit on veterans but treat them with the gratitude they deserve.

I am thankful that even in tough economic times, we have Black Fridays. We have poor and unemployed citizens who live better than the middle class in other countries. I recognize that line will bother some folks, but it is true nonetheless. It doesn’t mean we should not take actions to help those folks, but we do need to recognize how many services, public and private, we have available for those in need.

I am even thankful for Occupy Wall Street. Personally, I think they are confused, misguided, and really pushing the limits of appropriate dissent, but I would (and have) offered my life to defend their right to protest. Also, no one has been shot, and those police who have stepped over the line are being disciplined. We have the right to disagree, and here in America, we can do so without hating one another, or turning our disagreement into a justification for “disappearing” them.

Are we a perfect society? No. Do I wish we were better at meeting the needs of everyone in our country? Absolutely. Is any other place in the world I have ever been (and I have been to quite a few) better at that pursuit? An emphatic “NO.”

Thank you Lord for allowing me to be born in America, for allowing me to serve this Nation and to see my children serve it as well. To all, even if you are not 100 percent content, at least be thankful for what we have.

Dr. Steven Bucci is director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. He was previously a lead consultant to IBM on cyber security policy. Bucci’s military and government service make him a recognized expert in the interagency process and defense of U.S. interests, particularly with regard to critical infrastructure and what he calls the productive interplay of government and the private sector. Read More