We’ve all heard the old saying “Freedom Isn’t Free”…it’s been used Ad Nauseam. Ever wonder what the cost of freedom actually is? I know what Freedom has cost me, and other Veterans. It’s different for everyone. Some families wake up everyday remembering the loss of their son, brother, husband or wife. Others wake up like I do every morning to attach their prosthetic devices before starting their day. Most having paid no price at all, have no clue the sacrifice others have given for the lifestyle they enjoy. It’s OK if you’ve never reflected on this before, the whole point of this piece is to bring awareness to the many Americans that frolic freely and skip about giving no thought to those who made this country what it is today.
We enjoy what others only dream of…. Clean water, private property, and luxuries like free time. Retirement is nothing more than a pipe dream for most of the world’s population, yet here in America it’s entirely possible. Even the poorest Americans rank among the wealthiest in the world! It’s no secret that we have good things going on here, and there’s only one group to thank!
Most of our politicians haven’t sacrificed anything for you. Scores of today’s legislators line their pockets while “serving”. Their healthcare is top notch, salaries are FAT, and the perks of office are fit for a king! Like a wave tossed in the wind, they go this way or that. Standing for nothing, proposing everything. Popularity is their game. It’s not fair to paint them all with this broad brush, so I won’t. There’s got to be a few who operate outside the lines. But overall, it’s safe to say I’m dissatisfied.
Recently my 12-year-old blurted out “I want to get out of this horrible country and go to Russia where it’s free!”. I. Was. Appalled. I can add that to my growing list of failures as a parent. My immediate response was shock and an audible “Ha!” Left my mouth. It took me a minute to formulate a response that a child could understand, reminding him of the two-week trip we took to Mexico to help the orphaned children a few years back. I could see the wheels turning. I thought it was important to establish perspective and point out that he’s never actually been to Russia, or any other country other than Mexico for that matter. And that experience wasn’t centered around a resort. It was delivering food to people living at the dump, bringing joy to parentless children, and driving through areas that brought that Iraq pucker-factor to the forefront of my memory.
I also pointed out that the only parts of Russia that he’s seen have been on T.V. or snippets on YouTube that have been allowed to be posted. I let him know that the truth is often suppressed and only the good parts are granted distribution to the outside world. He seemed hesitant to believe me, but I could tell I was making some headway. This whole scenario really got me thinking. I realized that I’m not doing enough to make sure these kids understand just how good life is here in America.
Regardless of where you live in our country it’s still important to remember those that have served and sacrificed for the freedoms that we are able to enjoy. The United States isn’t perfect, but I think it’s better than many countries on earth. I’m still very proud to be an American.
I encourage you to show your pride in our country and remind everyone who sees you wearing ‘Freedom’s Price’ the true cost of Freedom. Some gave all, all gave some for the love of Liberty.
Political Cartoon & Photo Credit:
@RamirezToons & President, WARGASM Clothing Company
-Iraq War Double Amputee