In memory of the military men and women who died protecting us and in honor of those who have lived or are living with serious in-service injuries, we all need to try. Don’t not try.

The immense sacrifices of our heroes have been given for American citizens to have freedom, opportunity and financial security.

Soldier boys and soldier girls did not give their lives or a major portion of their health so that we can squander ourselves. We have to try — to try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be and to give back to the red, white and blue.

There has never been a time in American history when there has been more opportunity than today. We just need to try.

Here in Brazoria County, we are surrounded by opportunities. There are the exemplary industries, successful small businesses, inspirational churches and there are the admirable Brazosport College and Alvin Community College.

The colleges’ catalogs contain a plethora of opportunity and career paths. And the respected institutions are right here where we live, and they are affordable — so inexpensive compared to the big universities. We are blessed and fortunate.

If you try, in a couple of years you’ll have a college degree. If you don’t try, you’ll be empty-handed in 24 months. It’s a waste not to avail oneself of the opportunities of our colleges. (Some technical certifications can be earned in three months for those who struggle in academics.)

The same can be written of our industries. If one tries, employment occurs and advances happen.

I admire crane operators, and I spoke to one who started as a laborer and worked his way up via on-the-job training. The boom of his crane reaches 200 feet — twice as tall as some city water towers. Imagine that. It seems he’d have to watch the loads he lifts through binoculars.

What a talented man he has become. How did he get there? He tried.

In this column, the number of words I’m to target for length is about 721 words. “The Star Spangled Banner” is 311 words. “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog” is 221 words.

I produce 721 words every week, 37,492 words every year. Do you think you could produce a mere 250 words one time and write a song? Try. If you don’t try, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Who knows? Perhaps your lyrics will reach the tipping point.

My pastor once said to me when I was a teenager, “There needs to be the next great preacher after Billy Graham, and it might as well be you.” I didn’t get there, but trying to achieve realistic goals has landed me in a happy place. In fact, I’ve told this to my loved ones: “Just put this inscription on my tombstone: ‘Here lies a man who tried hard.’”

If you want to learn to play a didgeridoo, try. You can achieve basic competency by practicing 30 minutes a day for a mere seven weeks.

Four-year-old children are learning to play the instrument in Australia. And once they learn the small didgeridoos, they can play the huge ones since they require the same technique and talent. Although the large instrument dwarfs the children, they can make big-sounding music.

If you don’t try to learn to play the didgeridoo, you’ll never be able to make those strange melodious tunes, and you’ll miss the opportunity to play like the Aborigines, fascinating (or annoying) American audiences.

Endless opportunities are available on Internet sites. From youtube.com, I’ve learned how to drill a hole through glass, how to use an electric pressure cooker and which bolts not to remove when changing out a starter on my pickup.

In addition to our colleges, online classes and training are available in most every conceivable subject. Competency is ever available. Try.

With all this availability of opportunities comes this burden: If you are not where you need to be, it seems to indicate that you are not trying.

If there is something that you want to do that you find daunting, start watching videos about it on the Internet. As the videos acquaint you with it, you’ll warm up to it. Then, you’ll try for yourself, be it in person or online.

After a concert by a talented violinist, a patron shook hands with him and said, “I’d give everything in the world to play music like you.”

The musician answered, “I did.”

In memory of those we remember on Memorial Day, and in honor of our present veterans, try. Their immense sacrifices gave you or preserved for you the land of opportunity, the United States of America.

Facts correspondent Buddy Scott is director of His Love Counseling Services in Lake Jackson.

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