My right to write.Funny play on words isn't it? This blog is a beautiful example of being blessed. I live in a country where we argue over healthcare, stand up for education, protest in favor of our beliefs and it is all because we are free. Sure you can argue that our government can sometimes oppress ideas or that we as a people judge each other like crazy; being human is hard to avoid in life.
No matter what my right to post my opinion, my right to wear Crimson Tide colors, my right to go or not to go to church, my right to choose my future children's school, my right to express my thoughts about fashion/art/literature/sports/entertainment, my right to love who I want, to dislike someone, my right to drive a car anywhere in this nation is my right.
Not a day goes by that somewhere in the hours I am awake or asleep is there not a symbol of freedom. The fact that I close my eyes at night and hear crickets rather than bombs reminds me of my freedom. When insomnia comes storming through the window we watch any channel on the television. In fact I can choose a channel that spouts liberal ideals or conservative views! Picture in Picture lets me see both at once (quite humorous by the way when they are on the same topic)
My husband works for Veteran's Affairs (financial sector) his main office sits within one of the hospitals. There are few weeks that go by without him mentioning a Vet that he talks to on lunch or when he is in the halls. He hears stories of families who have just left the men or women to the system. Visiting only when they have to or when the guilt becomes too much. These veterans watched friends die, held the heads of comrades on their knees and prayed to whatever God they needed to in order to find comfort. These Veterans hail from everywhere, not just the South. Some seem as normal as you and me while others are still replaying hellish nightmares from years ago. Not everyone is forgotten by their loved ones but it is difficult the number of veterans who are.
Then there are those that are my age. Twenty-eight years old and have seen darkness that makes fantasy literature look like See Spot Run. They volunteer to leave friends, family, homes, pets, secure stable jobs to crawl on their stomachs in the desert knowing that a trip wire could be hidden anywhere. They build schools, churches and businesses for countries that have the exact opposite of their own beliefs. They come home with new perspective of what the world is like. Yet the ones that I know will tell you of the fear & craziness, but then you will hear the hope. The stories of children who see that people come from a country that allows a woman to walk alone on a street, a country that lets you buy land and build something that you call your own, a country that recognizes a hero not just on a movie screen. It is then that a soldier understands why they do what they do.
Veteran's Day reminds me of why writing is important to me. It is a dream of mine, it is a passion of mine, it is a comfort, it is a way to share something I love, but most importantly it is a right that someone else paid a price for me to enjoy.
I have never been in battle,
I have never sat eating a picnic lunch while friends fought to kill on my back lawn,
I have never been on a ship that sailed with dreams of freedom from monarchy,
I have never stood on a beach ready with guns to attack an enemy,
I have never stood in line protesting a war of politics,
I have never sat in the silent desert waiting for the enemy to spring
I have seen the placards stating a capitol burned,
I have stood on a battleship that is now a museum in awe of its size & power,
I have studied paintings of soldiers defending a new land/new promise,
I have watched movies/documentaries/shows depicting epic battles,
I have read names on stone structures lost throughout time,
I have chosen what to wear each morning,
I have chosen what foods to eat,
I have bought whatever book I wanted,
I have decided what I want to do in life,
I have married who I love rather than who was chosen for me,
I have cried tears as a brother I love left for sandy deserts
I have cried tears of joy when my brother returned safely,
I have hugged friends returning from cold nights far across the ocean,
I have stood at the foot of the Lincoln Monument in awe of such greatness,
I have been to Arlington Cemetery & cried for people I never knew,
I have felt that unexpected pull of pride when I see the American flag waving,
I have sung the words to our National Anthem,
I have pledged my allegiance to the flag using all the original words,
I have read the Declaration of Independence,
I have found myself crying when I see a soldier return home to hugs in an airport,
I have learned that Freedom comes with a price and that those who pay it every day & those who died for it before this moment & will die from this moment on deserve my respect, my love, and my thanks.
I am proud to be an American.
Thank you Veteran's for all my haves & for all my have nevers because without you my life would not be possible. I do continue to love this country and everything it was built upon.