Service, Patriotism, and Humility
I did not experience a lot of flag waving or political banter about the superiority of the United States while growing up. But I did grow up among men who served. My Pops served in Vietnam. My grandfather served in both World War II and Korea. I had three uncles who served in World War I (one did not return). I had a cousin and another uncle who served in Vietnam. This is nowhere near a complete list of family members who served but it gives you an idea of the type of men I grew up around.
I was surrounded by men who answered the call to service and went to war. After their service these men quietly went about their lives. They got jobs, raised families, and continued to contribute to their communities. They did not brag about their service, but they were never ashamed to say that when their nation called, they answered. Most of these men have passed away, and all have military headstones. One the lessons these men taught me is that a patriot is humble in word and deed. He defends what he believes is right without a desire for glory. A true patriot believes in what his country can be.