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It's July, and our countrymen celebrate Independence Day with flag-waving, parades and fireworks. For some, this annual show represents the extent of their patriotism. But for others, it requires a daily commitment to our country and its freedoms.

For example, our military veterans don't forget the sacrifices made. As members of the American Legion, with more than 3 million members and 14,000 posts worldwide, these veterans support their comrades and communities. The posts are no longer just "bingo, baseball and a bar," as some have called them. There are 255 posts in Georgia alone -- the most in the United States! The vets conduct charity rides as American Legion Riders, visit veterans in hospitals, escort fallen veterans to their final resting place and caravan World War II warriors en route to Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. To learn more and see how you can be involved, see "Saluting the American Legion," page 22.

Love of country takes another angle with our cover story, "Women in agriculture," page 16. When it comes to a love of the land and the state's No. 1 industry -- agriculture -- more women than ever are getting involved. In addition to tilling the land, they lend their skills to farm alliances, teach ag classes or promote the industry. Women are in leadership positions in many statewide organizations, and 52 percent of students enrolled in the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are female. This is just a sign that agricultural endeavors will continue to grow as more women pursue agriculture education degrees.

May God bless America!

Ann Orowski

Be sure to check out July's BONUS Web exclusive content, including:


Katrina Jones, left, of Kite, executive director of the Georgia FFA Foundation, poses with FFA officers for 2013-2014: Addie Thomason, center, State North Region vice president from Franklin County; and Ashton Lovett, State FFA South Region vice president from Cook County. (Photo by Rob Cooper, University of Georgia.)

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