It’s a given that freedom isn’t free. I see it every day in the veterans I work with. There are bullet wounds, traumatic head injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, back injuries, effects of chemical exposure, and the list goes on and on. I’ve been thinking about that all week, since Veterans Day was last Sunday, and I’ve come to the conclusion that although the cost of freedom is horrendous, it’s worth it.
Now, I know you may say, “Well, have you served? Did you pay the price?” The answer is no, I did not. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand what the value of freedom is, to me and to others in this country. Earlier this month, I voted. No one told me whom I had to vote for or that I couldn’t vote at all. I can speak out against the political figures I don’t think are doing a good job without fear of being arrested and thrown into prison. I don’t have to worry that my children or those of my family and friends will be kidnapped and forced to carry a gun before they even see their 16th birthday. I can carry and shoot a gun, and if I wanted to, I could buy a license and kill a deer or turkey. I can go to sleep at night and not worry that no one is standing guard over me and mine. Yes, the cost of freedom isn’t free, but it’s worth it to me.
If I had to face possible death for my country, I don’t know how difficult that would be. But I think I’d find it in me, as much as my physical limitations would allow, to stand firm to protect this country too. I am so grateful to the wonderful men and women who have found it in themselves to draw the line and defend it. Without them, this country would not be what it is, and I would not be who I am. Thank you.