America is about not only freedom but also the struggle to create it, according to Tim Kennedy, a former Green Beret and mixed martial arts fighter.
“You go back to 1776 and you see the struggle for democracy and you see the struggle for freedom, our Founding Fathers, the sacrifices that they made,” Kennedy said in an interview with Samantha Renck of the Daily Caller published Sunday.
Kennedy noted that America has never been perfect and never stopped evolving to move closer toward that unreachable goal.
“Every single war and conflict since then, and every single struggle from the civil rights movement to even what we’re going through now, it’s America refining itself,” he said.
In Kennedy’s eyes, America is continually refined by fire to become “a more complete thing.”
“We have imperfect aspects about us and with our history as well,” he said, but noted that throughout the course of American history the trend has been “to the positive.”
“That’s what’s cool,” he said. “Seeing this country continue to evolve to become something special.”
During the interview, Kennedy defined an American as “somebody that can live free, it’s somebody that realizes how special this idea of freedom is and how important it is. I think an American will fight tooth and nail to see that realized and to see that extended to other people so they can realize what that is like. Pretty cool.”
Just as nothing in America’s past came without work, Kennedy noted that nothing in the future will either. He encouraged young Americans to embrace the work of perfecting what others have sacrificed to create.
He told future generations “not be scared of the hard stuff. I think the coming generations have been looking for easy solutions.”
“There’s merit to trying to find the smartest way to do something, and I love the ingenuity that has come with the subsequent generations and the creativity but a trend with that is trying to find easy solutions to problems. And sometimes they’re not there,” he said.
Kennedy said the times may not allow for an easy way out.
“Sometimes you have to do the hard thing,” he said, noting that achievements such as the Golden Gate Bridge did not come to pass without sacrifice.
Kennedy urged Americans never to be daunted by the challenges they face.
“I don’t want people to be scared of that hard work and that hardship,” he said. “Hard times make hard men and hard men make great times.”
During the interview, Renck asked Kennedy for the most important moment of his military career, a question Kennedy could not directly answer.
“I don’t know if I could give you a single instance,” Kennedy said. “What I have is these collective ideas that were built over time, like the brotherhood, the guys standing next to us, how important they are.”
“The only way it’s bearable is the guy next to you.”
Kennedy also said that one of the high points of service was “seeing the positive change that we have on people’s lives, protecting people, seeing their lives get better.”
He described his time in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as instances of making a difference for others.
He enjoyed seeing “after Saddam fell and Iraq — that was in shambles — become this beautiful, prosperous nation for awhile until ISIS came and then we had to kick their butt.”
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