Proud to be an American

This article is part of the USA Women's Eagles Final in '14 blog. All entries are written exclusively by members of the women's national team.

We've been very busy since the day we arrived. The first three days were exhausting. We started with two-a-days for the first two days and had an intense conditioning practice the other. I'm not sure which I would prefer because Ian's conditionings are brutal. However, there is a residing feeling of resilience that is hovering over all of us. While running together as one team, striving to get better overtakes the feeling of exhaustion. Practices have been intense and we are coming together more and more each day. I believe with a sincere heart that this team can conquer any challenge because we will do it together.

Our team is special. We believe that the bonds we share off the field will help us perform on the field. One of my favorite team bonding activities is sharing. Yesterday, we sat around in a circle next to the beach and shared how this team has helped us grow. Tears streaming down many faces pulled each individual into a state of togetherness. We are teammates, we are friends, and we are family. By the start of World Cup we will be a super glue that cannot be broken by anyone on and off the field.

On Tuesday we were recognized by the adjunct Mayor of Granville at City Hall. The people here are beyond kind and welcoming to us. Yesterday, in particular, was special. We traveled to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. It didn't really hit me until I saw the thousands of crosses where almost 10,000 Americans are buried after fighting for the liberation of millions. That represents less than half of the 25,000 Americans who sacrificed their lives. The tour guide mentioned that the average age of the American soldier was 21. Peering out over the cliffs onto the beautiful beaches and hearing this statement left me speechless. I am 21. At my age these men were willing to fight knowing that the odds were greatly against them. These men are true heroes. We later stood side by side at the flag ceremony that evening. I am feeling the proudest I've ever been to be an American. To be born in the same country where these selfless men were. To be apart of this team with such talented, caring women. To represent my country, AMERICA, in an amazing sport. I am taking nothing for granted and soaking in every moment.