An American Patriot Abroad


Growing up as a military brat has impacted my worldview in so many ways, probably most significantly when it comes to patriotism. The sight of a the American Flag makes my heart swell with pride, the National Anthem chokes me up, and I stand a little taller with my hand over my heart while reciting the pledge of allegiance. I am so thankful to my parents for instilling in my siblings and me that sense of patriotism in so many ways including the American decor around our home, always celebrating the 4th of July (especially when we lived abroad), and allowing us to be a part of our dad’s military service – I am not kidding you when I say I grew up climbing on tanks.

Isn’t my little bro a cutie with his tough guy face?

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It is a legacy that we are passing down to our children, although their perspective will be different as expatriates. By the way, when I first heard the term “expatriate” or “expat” I was appalled – moving abroad did NOT mean I was breaking up with the United States of America, ha! The term simply means a person living outside their native country for any reason, not that they don’t still love their native country. Living the expat life may even strengthen one’s patriotism as we experience life away from all that we know and love.

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It’s amazing to think that 240 years ago when the American flag was designed and made by Betsy Ross, it branded the country. Just like a company logo, we see the stars and stripes in red, white, and blue, and associate different things with it. Talk about long lasting design, right? For our boys, as with other kids I imagine, it symbolizes the US embassy, making it through customs when we fly home, where we come from, and reminds them of some of the people who love them the most. When I asked my big kid what he thought of when he saw the American flag he said: “I know where my family is, it means home.”


As they grow up as citizens of the world, it is important for us to keep them tethered to their country, its history (the good and the bad), and a deep appreciation of the civil and military servants in our family tree. Therefore, we are intentional when we are back stateside to visit National Parks and museums, share family time and stories, and experience the conveniences like Target – ok that last one wasn’t patriotic per say, but we miss it a lot! We want them to be proud and humble to be American, to realize they come from the land of the free, and be brave, like all those heroes who have sacrificed for it.

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Today, on our Independence Day abroad, we will wear our red, white, and blue, cook out, and toast to the freedom our fore-fathers planned for us. We will share stories about our favorite past 4th of July’s and help the boys make their own memories. {Not to mention a little patriotic photo fun!}

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How will you spend your 4th? Are you stateside at a BBQ or at a fellow American expat’s celebrating? Whatever you are up to, try to snap a few patriotic images and firework shots to share in the comments! We would love to see them!

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cheers friends,


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Thanks for this adorable quilt Aunt Courtney! They love learning the US geography with it!

Check out Courtney’s amazing hand-made quilts here!

2 thoughts on “An American Patriot Abroad

  1. I agree that living abroad strengthens (or can) one’s patriotism. It makes you appreciate so much more where you came from and what is waiting for you when you return.

    Liked by 1 person

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