Monday, May 25, 2009

Freedom is not Free

We are free in this country.  We have many freedoms that we use and abuse.  It is good to remember that these freedoms are not free.  Many Americans sacrificed and many gave their lives, that we here at home may exercise freedom.  I have not had any family members die in service, but have some who were there on the front lines.  Probably all of us have these family stories.

This is the USS Phoenix.  It is the only ship that got out of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  My Uncle Norm was on that ship that day.  The story he tells is mind blowing.  There are not alot of WWII vets left, but Uncle Norm is still here and he has not forgotten one detail of that day.

This is the USS Wasp.  My Uncle Lorne was on it when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on September 16, 1942.  The gas tanks and ammunition exploded and all hands had to leave the ship.  He jumped off into the ocean and swam there covered in gas and oil until another ship picked him up.  He hurt his back and had that as a reminder the rest of his life.

Uncle Russell served in Korea in the color guard.  It was a very proud time for a boy from Bay City, Michigan who had not even finished high school.  His younger brother, my Dad, back home, could hardly stand not being able to go to war with his brothers.  He tried every branch of service, but none would sign him because he was deaf in one ear.  

My cousin Carol served in the Gulf War.  She flew Medevac on a helicopter like this.  She was poisoned by chemicals, probably Agent Orange.  To this day, she pays for her service while the Air Force offers minimal health assistance.  Some days, her legs cannot function enough for her to stand.  Even so, she is fiercely patriotic about this country and I have seen her explain to people why they should stand in respect while the National Anthem is playing.

And now, Nephew 2 is in Iraq as a firefighter.  We all pray.  It is all we can do from back home.  

Freedom is not free.  
Normal Girl