Monday, May 26, 2008

To All Veterans

My husband served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He was stationed both in Thailand and in Vietnam in the DMZ zone. At times, I never knew where he was, but we wrote to each other every day. I believe love and support sustained him through those times. Many of our boys didn't have the support that he did. He often told me that many of the guys never got a letter at mail time, which was so sad. Some never got a package from home.

So today, for all those soldiers who served then and all those who have served since, and who are serving their country now, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have made it possible for us at home to have freedom that we may not have had. We want you to know you are loved, prayed for and thought of often. God bless all those families who have given up a son, daughter, Father, or Mother in any of our wars.

There are many who will follow in your footsteps and we wish them well. May God bless you all for your service to your country - the good ole' U. S.A.!

Freedom Is Not Free
- Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

Linked at Conservative Cat
Wake Up America
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Graphic by Doc's Military Graphics


Cathy said...

That is a beautiful post for Memorial Day, Barb. And the poem was wonderful.

Green Me said...

I recently read Saving Grace by Elizabeth Edwards and I was introduced to an entirely new and different way of coping, which I guess is "standard fair" in many military families. However, the situation of your husband and so many others is not necessarily voluntary! So, as you say family and support is so very important. My father was in Korea and one Christmas he wrote home that he'd really love a fruit cake -- the word spread amongst all his relatives and soon he had more than he could give away! A story he recounts every xmas, over 50 years later!

Barbara said...

Green Me, that is so neat about your Father and the fruitcake. My husband had 8 sisters, me, and his Mother who sent packages, so he was often sharing with the other boys who didn't get packages.

My way of coping (I was a newly wed of 5 weeks the first time) was not to listen to the news and never worry. I knew God was with him, and I kept to myself in order not to have to hear the 'woe is me' comments. I would have been a basket case, had I took to heart things I was told back then. I just relied on God to bring him through it,and HE did!