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“Freedom is never free.”
When my son was in preschool we stopped at an area McDonald’s for lunch one day. A group of Army soldiers in uniform were there in transit to a base nearby.
“Who are those guys, Mommy?” my son asked, wide-eyed.
“They are heroes, ” I told him, “They are in the Army and they work hard as soldiers to protect our country.” After we finished eating, my son wanted to go say “Hi” to them. I agreed although I wasn’t sure whether we would be bothering the men or not.
I am not one of those people that finds it easy to talk to random strangers. I envy people like that. But when you have kids, you have to be who they need you to be, whether you have it in you or not. So I approached the men.
“Hi,” I said introducing myself, “My son just wanted to say hello to you. He noticed your uniforms.”
“Oh hey there buddy!” said one of the men, “What’s your name?”
“I um, I just wanted to say hi!” my son answered excitedly,”and thank you for protecting me… and being heroes… and I think you’re brave.”
“Well, thanks buddy,” he replied and went on to share a little bit about what his unit did and where and answered all my son’s questions. My son was beyond impressed. So was I. When the conversation was over, one of the men thanked me, “You know, I have a son his age. I miss him terribly. Thanks for spending some time with us.”
It was at that moment the phrase “Freedom isn’t free” became real to me. It’s not just some nameless, faceless soldier out there giving his life to the cause of freedom. It’s a father that sacrifices his time with his young son. It’s a mom that has to raise her children alone while her husband is deployed. It’s a son that misses his dad. It’s millions of daily sacrifices that people all across this country, of all ages, make to maintain America’s freedom. We should remember that and be grateful.
Thank You Moment
Thank you to those who’ve served our country, protected our freedom and made sacrifices I can only imagine. Our nation continues to be built upon your backs. And thank you to their families and friends who’ve walked the long road behind them in support.