Monday, May 30, 2011

Freedom Is Not Free

I want to thank all the soldiers and veterans for their sacrifices on my behalf.  I live in the best country in the world, where I have many freedoms other people in other countries do not.  But that Freedom is not Free.  It comes with a price.

Today I honor all those who have paid that price by death or who are still with us but suffering from the traumas of their service to our country.

This past Friday here in Bozeman, we had local wounded soldier return from Afghanistan.  He came home missing his legs and one arm after stepping on a land mine.  You can read the story here and here.

I especially want to give thanks to my dad and father-in-law for the sacrifices they made while in Vietnam.  

My dad is suffering from the effects of agent orange he was exposed to in Vietnam.  He is only 66 years old but has lost so much of his health and quality of life directly related to this exposure.  He may be 66 but his body is like that of an 86 year old man.  He has lost his right eye, he suffers from diabetes and heart problems, as well as many other issues... all brought on by this chemical.

My father-in-law as a helicopter pilot witnessed and experienced much bloodshed and violence.  There are events he lived through that no one should ever have to see and be a part of.  No one knows everything he experienced.  But I can imagine he relives it in his mind often.... too often.  I have witnessed a little of his emotional feelings about his experience there and my heart aches.  

They both are very lucky to make it out of Vietnam alive as they each experienced their brush with death. However, thousands of soldier's did not make it home.  In Vietnam alone there were over 58,196 casualties.

So please make sure you give thanks and respect to our soldiers and veterans.  Because we would not have the freedoms we take for granted every day without their service and sacrifice to our country.  

Thank You to both of my Daddy's!  Love you!


Garden of Egan said...

That was a beautiful post.
I love your tribute.
Yes, they did up their tomorrows.

Stephanie Faris said...

My former father-in-law served in Vietnam and he would not talk about those days at all. Weird that I read this today. I've been reading Jane Fonda's autobiography and right now I'm at the part (which, SHEESH, must be half the book) where she's trying to justify the whole "Hanoi Jane" thing. So I'm reading in exhaustive detail every Vietnamese person she met over there and how sweet they are and how we were bombing this and that that she thought we shouldn't. I'm learning a lot, although I'm still not finding HER very sympathetic as she seems to have seen only one side of things.