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Saturday, November 11, 2006Words From A Wise Soldier
Veteran's Day: Remembering the Price of Freedom
"As Americans, we have many rights and freedoms that are unique to our way of life. Freedoms that other countries across the globe can not boast; freedoms such as the right to vote for our leaders, to choose whichever religion we prefer and without reprisal, the right to a fair trial, and a number more that make the American way of life so attractive.
This year marks the 230th year of our independence, and over the course of this time, we have fought not only on our own soil, but on foreign as well. We have fought to protect ourselves and our allies, and have made efforts to help other nations achieve a better way of life, but this has come with a hefty price. Military personnel as well as civilians working for the government have sacrificed themselves time and again so that the people at home can enjoy the freedoms guaranteed to them by our country's most sacred documents.
I have had the opportunity to serve this great nation, and fight against our country's enemies. Many of my views on life have been radically changed in a relatively short amount of time, and as I reflect on how I used to think and act, I realize that I always took for granted everything from my most basic freedoms to my most luxurious amenities. I am now aware of the difference between the two. I now know exactly what personal sacrifice means, and I have experienced it. I have seen the ultimate sacrifice one can make, the giving one's own life for his country, to lose his life and liberty so that others may enjoy it, and it is without question that something of that magnitude demands commemoration. One way to commemorate these selfless individuals is to remember them on Veteran's Day, and reflect on what many have sacrificed for the good of the American people. On Veteran's Day, I urge you to remember those who have answered, and those who currently are answering, the call of duty to provide you with safety and comfort at home.
As for myself, Veteran's Day means much more. I recall the friends that are not here with me today. I remember the good times with them, but can not help remembering that they are lost, and although it is sometimes overbearing, I recall a quote that helps me get through the hard times: "It has always fallen to a few to sacrifice for the good of many." They fell defending our country from those who threaten our way of life, and although they are gone, they are not forgotten.
Veteran's Day is a day to commemorate those who have fought for our country, and honor their accomplishments and sacrifices. Jose Naroski once said, "In war there are no unwounded soldiers." I remember my experiences in that foreign desert, and although it is over now, the effects and the transformation to [a] veteran is permanent, and the events that took place overseas will stick with me for as long as I live."
Lance Corporal, U.S.M.C.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, 16 September 2005- 6 April 2006