Category: July 4th Holiday

Freedom Isn’t Free

Before my son graduated from Texas A&M University and entered the Air Force, I took our freedom for granted. Since then articles on the plight of veterans hold a new meaning. My son was deployed twice but he is one of the lucky ones. He escaped any lasting trauma. Other veterans haven’t been as fortunate, because you know what? Freedom isn’t free.

For most of us, the Fourth of July means food, family, fireworks and fun. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. For those veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and some estimates say this is as many as one half million vets, this holiday is difficult. For them, fireworks sound like artillery and throw them back on the battlefield amid the death and destruction of war.

Some veterans have placed signs in their yards saying, “Combat veteran lives here. Please be courteous with fireworks.” They hope this will increase awareness and encourage discussions about PTSD. If you plan to shoot off fireworks tonight, please give any veterans living nearby a heads up. This allows them to prepare to deal with their possible reactions and keeps them from being caught unaware.

We owe these men and woman because of the cost they’ve paid for our freedom. We owe them whatever help we can offer. That brings up the question, what helps veterans deal with PTSD or the other issues plaguing them after serving our country? In doing research? I’ve discovered two agencies who work tirelessly to change veterans’ lives for the better.

While researching my current book, the third in my Wishing Texas Series, To Tame A Texas Cowboy, I visited Patriot Paws in Rockwall, Texas. This agency provides service dogs to veterans with physical disabilities or PTSD. Service dogs can perform tasks a disabled vet is unable to or provide emotional support. Either way, they help veterans regain control of their lives. Unfortunately, agencies such as Patriot Paws are too few and the wait lists too long. Veterans often wait YEARS to receive their service dog. For more information on go to http://www.patriotpaws.org.

Another wonderful agency helping veterans is Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship south of downtown Dallas. I discovered this wonderful organization when doing research for Roping the Rancher. My hero turned his horse ranch into a similar organization when he left the military. Like numerous veterans, he struggled to find a purpose with meaning after returning to civilian life. Equest’s program,

Hooves For Heroes, does amazing work helping veterans struggling with the lack of purpose issue, as well as, depression and PTSD. For more information go to http://www.equest.org.

No matter what your plans today, I wish everyone a safe and fun Fourth of July. But please take time to remember those veterans whose lives have been impacted serving our country. Some of them and their families have paid a very high price because Freedom isn’t free.

Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of Roping the Rancher. 

Updated: July 4, 2018 — 6:41 am

Cowboy Fever and Rodeo Fun

This week, we’re celebrating Cowboy Fever. I’m pretty sure I’ve been infected since I was old enough to walk.

I love cowboys, rodeos, and the country way of life.

Growing up on a farm about twenty miles from the closest town (population around 1,000), we generally took our excitement anywhere we could get it.

Each summer, I eagerly anticipated our small town’s biggest event of the year – the Fourth of July Rodeo.

Back in those days, it was a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned rodeo. Some of the top names in the circuit would join hundreds of rodeo fans for four days of rodeo, events in the park, a parade through town, and the annual Suicide Race (a crazy horseback race down a steep butte, across the highway, through the river, and into the rodeo arena).

Our whole family looked forward to the celebration. My oldest brother regularly rode in the Suicide Race and a few cousins competed in the rodeo. My dad, brothers, and many cousins participated in the parade.

For a horse-crazy little girl who loved the smell of leather and the sight of cowboy hats, it was amazing. From an early age, I had a romance with the rodeo (and cowboy fever!).

One of the few stores we had in town was a saddle maker with a boot shop. When I was five, my dad took me to Leroy’s shop to pick out a new belt for the rodeo. It was the first time I could choose my own. Talk about excited!

As we walked inside, the welcoming aroma of leather filled the air. Dad led me to where Leroy worked on a saddle at the back of the shop and they talked a few minutes. Impatiently waiting to get down to the business of picking out my belt, they finally told me to go see what I could find. My gaze – and heart – immediately settled on a hand-tooled belt with little flowers stamped into the leather and a silver buckle with a gold saddle that glistened in the overhead lights.

I still have that little belt today along with my love of rodeo and cowboys.

I suppose that love is what inspires so many cowboy heroes in my stories. It’s awesome to write about modern-day ranchers in my Grass Valley Cowboys series, and about rodeo cowboys in my Rodeo Romance series. I also get a kick out of writing about cowboys in the old West. I think lawmen of yesteryear must be one of my favorites, since this coming Thursday I’ll release Lightning and Lawmen, my fourth story with a hero who works as a lawman in a rowdy western town.

How did a simple hello turn into something so complicated?

Love is about to leave one lawman thunderstruck in this sweet historical romance!

 Cultured and full of grace, Delilah Robbins agrees to accompany her meteorologist father to his new post in Baker City, Oregon. Expecting a primitive place, she’s delighted to discover an up-and-coming town with plenty of surprises as well as a place she can turn into a sanctuary for her beloved birds. As she settles into life in the western town, she unwittingly creates a riff between two deputies when they both fall for her charms.

 Deputy Dugan Durfey only meant to extend a friendly welcome to a newcomer. But the moment he set eyes on the meteorologist’s delightful daughter, Dugan’s heart was no longer his own. Since his best friend and fellow deputy suffered the same fate, Dugan struggles to do what’s right. He’ll fight jealousy, outlaws, and a wily raccoon to keep Delilah safe, but the greater battle lies in overcoming his fears to profess his love.

Filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of sweet romance, Lightning and Lawmen highlights the history of the era and blends it with the timeless feelings of discovering true love.

To enter for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card, answer this question:
What’s one special summer memory from your childhood?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DLMXSGT/?tag=pettpist-20

SIGNING THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE–by Cheryl Pierson

Declaration of IndependenceWhat does July 4th mean to you? A day off work? An appliance sale you can’t pass up? A day the banks are inconveniently closed?

In today’s fast-paced world, we sometimes lose sight of what this patriotic holiday means to each and every one of us—because the real reason for it occurred so long ago…over 200 years in the past.

In the “big picture”, 200+ years is not really so far away—we’re a relatively new country, compared to so many others. But because of the frenetic pace our contemporary society keeps, the past is something that’s easy for us to forget.

But think of what the men who signed our Declaration of Independence faced for putting their signatures on such a document…Treason.

united-states-flag_2188_130213397[1]Here’s a little bit about the fifty-six rebels who came together during those hot July days so many years ago, and created the document that could have made or broken a new nation…

Five of these men were captured by the British during the Revolutionary War. Though the signers’ homes were not specifically targeted for looting, twelve of the signers’ homes were occupied, ransacked, and vandalized in the process of the war.

Abraham Clark’s two sons were captured and incarcerated on the prison “hell” ship, Jersey. They were treated with special brutality because of who their father was. When offered their lives if he would recant, Clark’s answer was an anguished, resounding no. John Witherspoon’s son, James, was killed in the Battle of Germantown, 1777.

Francis Lewis’s wife was held prisoner for several months before being exchanged for two British prisoners.

Lewis Morris and Phillip Livingston lost several of their properties. Morris’s home was taken over and used as a barracks for soldiers—by the Continental Army, first; and then, not long afterward, it was “appropriated”, looted and burned by the British.

united-states-flag_2183_58326922[1]The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was Edward Rutledge, age twenty-six. Benjamin Franklin, at age seventy, was the oldest. Eighteen of them were under forty—three of these in their twenties. Almost half of the fifty-six men who signed—twenty-four—were lawyers and judges. Eleven were merchants, twelve were doctors, ministers and politicians. The remaining nine were landowners and farmers.

 

Two future presidents signed—John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President).

Those who were not there to sign? George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Patrick Henry.

John Hancock signatureJohn Hancock was one of the richest men in America at the time. There was also a price on his head—500 pounds. He signed with a mighty flourish, in letters so large “that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward.”

I wish I had room to go into further detail about these remarkable men who came together and, in three hot days, hammered out the Declaration of Independence for this great country or ours to be born and recognized.

These are 1337 of the most important words ever written—the birth certificate of a nation.

As we cook our hotdogs and shoot off our fireworks tomorrow, let’s remember the real reason for the Fourth of July holiday, and the other name we call it: Independence Day. And please remember these men who took such a chance with their property, their families, and their lives. They had much more to lose than they stood to gain—but they saw the love of their country sacred above all else.

One Magic Night WebWhat are some of your favorite memories of Independence Day? Leave a comment below, and I will draw two lucky winners for my novella ONE MAGIC NIGHT that takes place in Indian Territory at a 4th of July picnic!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

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