05 July 2011

Fighting For Freedom

I thought a lot about our military and the meaning of freedom this Fourth of July weekend. My son is now 22 years old and home to enjoy the festivities. I do appreciate his service in the US Army and his one-year tour in Iraq, but he is out now and I can breathe more easily.

My father and my husband both served over 22 years each in the US Marine Corps and both retired to enjoy second careers. Therefore, I know I am bias and my appreciation does not necessarily reflect the same as all Americans, but I wanted to mention my family and their patriotism, because yesterday, during a pool party at my house, there was a discussion about military service. Of course there was, it was Independence Day!

I told everyone about an incident which happened when my son came home for a brief visit after a tour in Iraq. He went out with a group of friends to a local bar and someone accused him of being a baby killer because he was a US soldier. I was shocked. When he got off the plane and entered the terminal in his military uniform, most people clapped and thanked him for his service. Even another woman's eyes filled with tears when I gave my son a hug.

Why would anyone call my son a baby killer? Is our country so divided by politics that we cannot even thank those who fight for our freedom, or is freedom something so obscure anymore that we all believe it to be a right with which we were born? We do not have a right to this freedom automatically. There are soldiers who have died in order that we are able to enjoy the freedoms that we do have, and there are soldiers that must still fight and die for our country if we are to remain free.

Our freedom is not ours simply because we pay our taxes and a portion of that money goes to pay for this military. We have our freedom from serving in the military ourselves because the men and women of our military served so that we did not have to.

If you ever hear someone refer to one of our military soldiers as a baby killer, please remind them of those brave men and women who fought and even died so we could have these freedoms today. Should one day our military become weak from the unpatriotic voices of those who do not appreciate these freedoms, I hope you pray to your God when our enemies pierce the boundaries of America and destroy our families.

You might never appreciate something until you no longer have it. What a world that would be...

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