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Freedom Isn’t Free

Coming from a military family, I have an understanding about some things in life a lot civilians will never ‘get’. They will never truly understand the price paid for them by generations of military service men and women, that served for them. In today’s times it is so frustrating to turn on the television and see the media only show the negatives on our military. You never see the positive action behind the scenes. You will never see a camera shot of an officer bending down to give an Iraqi child a doll. You will never see the signs of relief when they roll through their nieghborhoods to assure them safety for one more night. You will only see the thousands of casualities reported and hear how horrible the war is.

And while those fighting for us die, you will hear your fellow American say under their breath….’well they signed up for it’. Most feel it’s not as tragic as the deaths at VA Tech, because service men and women sign up to die. Most feel that since it’s not on our soil, that it’s not worth thinking about. This last statement is not to make light of what happened in Virginia on campus. That was a horrible tragedy and I wish those families and survivors some peace. However the loss of every one of our soldiers overseas is also a tragedy. Those young men and women volunteer for you and they are fighting for your right to freedom.

One of my best friends, who is currently serving his 3rd tour in Iraq, wrote the most touching memorial to two of his buddies. I just had to pass it along. They died away in February…but it’s never too late to show some appreciation. I hope this letter makes you think.

***********

Today I heard the most hauntingly beautiful sound and I will never, as long as I live, forget it. It was Amazing Grace picked on an acoustic guitar that went right into the Star Spangled Banner. It is not just the sound of the guitar that will haunt my memories for a lifetime but the sound of that guitar and the sound of the man crying as he played it. He struggled to play it all the way through but he managed to honor his friends with that tribute. You see today we paid our respects to CW4 Keith Yoakum and CW2 Jason Defrenn. These heroes were killed on the 2nd of February 2007. Just four short days ago. They died defending thier wingman and died defending what they believed in. Freedom.

Freedom isn’t free. I have heard that so many times in my life. What does it really mean? Let me tell you. We live in the greatest nation on earth. Bar none. We have freedom of speech. Religion. Press. To elect government officials. To be an entrepeneur. To be lazy if we so choose. So many people come from other countries to live the American dream. And so many of these people are successful in that endeavor. Why? Freedom. But how can we as a nation have such freedoms? We have these freedoms because there is a tiny fraction of our population who defend it. They have sworn an oath that is greater than themselves and they live by it. To defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. This tiny fraction are the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States. They keep a vigilant watch over the rest of the nation and keep the enemy at bay. The enemy. Those who would destroy the very infrastructure and core of our beliefs and take our freedoms away. What does it cost these men and women? For many time is what it is bought with. Time away from home and loved ones. Time out of thier lives and pursuits. For some it is injury and pain, an arm or a leg. Still for others it is the ultimate sacrifice. Their very lives. What is the cost of freedom? It has been paid for and will continue to be paid for in
blood. The blood of patriots. We are the greatest nation today because of patriots who have gone before. Heroes.

These two men bought and paid for your freedom. They gave the ultimate sacrifice. Their lives. Yet they are not the only ones we have to thank. The people who need to be thanked are the children and the wives these two men left behind. The children and the wives who sent thier loved ones away not dreaming they would return in a casket. The children who will not grow up knowing their father as anything more than a few memories from their younger years and what their relatives tell them. The unborn child who will never even see his or her father. Ever. Never anything more than a photograph. The two wives who will have to forever remember the last time they made love to their husband or the last time they kissed. There will be NO next time. Thank the women who will now have to raise children on their own. Thank the children who won’t have their fathers teach them how to throw a football or change the oil on a car. They paid for your freedom too. Their payment though will last a lifetime. A lifetime of greif. A void in their hearts that could never quite be filled again. So thank them. Pray for them. Cry for them and cry with them. You see freedom isn’t free. It is paid in blood. But it is also paid in tears. The tears of the loved ones left behind.

CW4 Yoakum and CW2 Defrenn and their wingman were ambushed by the enemy. Even after sustaining damage to their aircraft they turned toward the enemy to engage them and to protect their wingman. They could have tried to get out of there and limp the aircraft home. They could have. But these men were warriors. They were part of a special breed of pilots. Attack pilots. Gun pilots. They don’t run from a battle they finish it. This is their mentality and they lived it to the end. Turn into the fight. Don’t run from it even when you are hurt. Protect your wingman at all costs. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your brother.

Say thanks to the people who have taken that oath and defend our freedom. Many of you who will read this are already defending freedom. Many of you have served and defended freedom in the past. Many of you don’t and won’t. Whoever you are please thank these men and women who give up so much so you can sleep better at night. Don’t just say thanks. Shake their hand and MEAN it. But them lunch or a beer and talk to them. Find out their name and where they are from. Honor them by thanking them. Thank the vets who have gone before. Many of them were never thanked for their sacrifices in the past. My father is a Vietnam vet and he didn’t return to the U.S. to an airport full of people cheering for him. Quite the opposite. He was called names. But you know what, he sports his Vietnam Vet lisence plate with PRIDE. He didn’t do it for accolades. He swore an oath like his father before him during WWII and like I did now. He believes in freedom. Thanks pop for the 22 years of service to your country. Thank you to all my friends who are in the service and defend freedom still today. Thank you CW3 Chuck Fortenberry and CW2 Shane Colton. You are not forgotten.

Thank you CW4 Keith Yoakum and CW2 Jason Defrenn. You will not be forgotten.

BoZ

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health, relationships, sex, son, television, women

Sex in Spanish

This morning my son woke me a little earlier than normal. He’s getting over a bad stomach bug and woke up hungry for saltine crackers and Sprite. Hallelujah! We walked into the living room and sat in the dimly lit room in total silence with the exception of the occasional crunching noises he was making. It was music to my ears.

I commented how relaxing it was not to have the television on and to have some quality time together. He ‘mmmhmmed’ me, and proceeded to say, “but I think I want to watch cartoons.” Flipping through my guide, didn’t leave many options. It was barely 7 a.m. and the major networks don’t come on until 8 a.m. so I turned it to the Spanish station. They had the qubo shows playing early, and I thought it would be fun to listen to everything in Spanish. We just giggled while watching. I only caught a few phrases I understood. My little boy kept saying, “I don’t know what they’re saying” and would laugh and laugh.

Keep in mind, this was children’s programming so I didn’t think I’d have to censor the commercials. My attention was completely diverted to my son’s smile. I was just so happy to see him feeling better. Every mom that’s had really sick kids can understand the joy you feel when your baby turns the corner to better health.

The next thing I know, those cute little crunching noises stopped and his face got real still. I whipped my head to the television in time to see a ‘male potency’ pill being advertised during the cartoon break. Naked couples were rolling around in bed kissing and stroking each other’s bodies, while the Spanish voice over was saying, ” blah blah blah enhanced sexual blah blah blah.”

AHH! I turned off the television as fast as I could and distracted my little guy’s attention to the Sprite sitting on the table in front of him. Thankfully at four I can still divert his little spinning mind to something else, because the last thing I want to have a conversation about at this age is sex.

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Seasons of Life

As I sit here, on my lunch break, listening to the thunder rolling in I am reminded that our stormy spring isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. (sigh) The luxuries of running for cover when a tornado alarm goes off! Hopefully that won’t be the case today. The hard rain pelting on my window offers as a reminder of the trials or seasons in our own lives.

We all will face our human seasons just like the seasons of mother earth. The earth has growing pains every year with the birth of spring, in all it’s splendor of color and terrors of storms. I just pray today is filled with hard spring rains, and the severity of the storms stay at bay.

My prayers for my seasons are no different. In life we all go through growing pains! From birth to death, we all experience life in this world, which will hold many surprises and tragedies along the way. There is after all a time for everything…it says so Ecclesiastes 3:1-15. So, every day I pray that the severities of life stay at bay, but undoubtably bad things do happen that are out of our control.

Once Eve took a bite out of that forbidden fruit, sin entered in to what was a perfectly peaceful existence. God gives man free will, who can choose his own path. Unfortunately, some will not follow God in His footsteps. They will turn a deaf ear to His message, and refuse to ask Him into their hearts, therefore bad decisions will be made which will ripple effect into all our lives.

For example, the drunk that can’t let go of his booze…not even long enough to see that he’s had way too many before getting behind his wheel. His bad decisions put other lives in danger, that could effect you or me. We can’t control that.

All I can do is put my life, and those I love, in God’s hands every day and pray for traveling mercies and protection from anything that would do harm…including spiritual warfare. Now there’s a subject that is taboo among many of you, so I will leave that for another blog.

Seasons of life are a beautiful thing really, through all the good and the bad. The past is what makes us what we are today. We are all human and subject to sin, but as long as we put Christ first in our life we hopefully will make the right choices for ourselves and those in our lives. You ever hear of you reap what you sow? Trust me I’ve sowed enough bad in my life to understand just what that means–poor decisions = poor results. Now I strive to reap from the good soil I’ve been planting my spiritual fruit in. Every day I have a choice to make, and I choose to live the kind of life God would want me to. Like most of us, I fall short every day…so each new morning is a new chance to continue on my path.

Our seasons are inevitable.  We can embrace them or live in ignorance of them…in denial of our stages in life. I have just recently come to the realization that I’m not a young 20 something anymore!  I feel 24 and hope I always do, but I’m definitely 34 going on 35.  YIKES!  My time is clicking away every day so I’ve come the realization that I must respect every day God gives me.. to live life to it’s fullest but also to it’s spiritual richness.

My seasons have carried me from a child to a rebellious teen and young woman, living in a world of sin. They’ve evolved me into a mature responsible woman in her 30’s that has found herself, gotten married, and given birth to the most amazing gift God could offer.  My seasons are full of mistakes and glorious triumphs!  I now know it’s okay to get older.  I’m right where God wants me to be…in this season of awareness.  It’s my season and I owe it to Him to shine my light so that others may see.

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Earth Day Find

c3_2jpg.jpgI just wanted to pass along a little helpful way you can save your planet one bulb at a time! CFL light bulbs are the best way even the laziest of us all can help save mother earth. They last 10 times longer than your normal light bulb, taking up 2/3 less electricity.

If you’re not one to start a recycling program at work…or clean up litter along your local streets, but you feel that you should do ‘something’ to make life a little easier here for you and your loved ones years down the road, PLEASE at least consider using these energy efficient bulbs! Are they more expensive? Well one bulb is around 15 dollars, but we haven’t changed ours in 2 years. How many would we have bought to replace those metal filament bulbs that always go out? Ping…you know the sound I’m referring to. You do the math. You’re saving not only your pocket book, but energy costs too. Every spring and fall light bulbs assuredly go out to the climate change, our CFL bulbs stay steady. It saves us from getting up on the ladder every time I hear that old standard bulb make that dreaded sound, when it burns out! Do I have to say CFL bulbs any more times to get it to stick in your mind???

The only down side…they reportedly interfere with television remotes, so unplug your lamp if you’re flicker happy between commercial breaks!

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A long road…A new dawning


Being on here awhile now, I get the fun task of listing certain things that are in response to being tagged. Most are quite fun! However this last one is a little brain boggling. My task is to list what obsessive thoughts plague me. I don’t normally focus on these sorts of things…I push any tiny nagging negative to the back of my brain because I like to always think about the upside of life.

However, I never back down from a challenge…at least a reasonable one. So Carolsplaceforpeace…this one’s for you. You gave me this task and I will follow through.

When I was younger, before having a good life, I faced a lot of trauma. Too much trauma for someone that had only lived 20 or so years on the earth. I suffered a lot of pain and mental stress. Through a lot of prayer and hard work on my part, I overcame and survived! I moved on to a healthier me, who didn’t want to focus on the past but move forward. However the past is what made me who I am today.

So I can say, I used to suffer obsessive thoughts on a daily basis. In my teens I obsessed on when I would die. I didn’t think I’d make it past 18. Then once my 18th birthday came and went, God tapped me on the heart and whispered, “See I told you…you’re going to make it. Keep going!”

Once in college, I obsessed over how I was going to make it day to day. The person that caused me a lot of trauma attended the same university I did. He harassed me daily, so I turned to alcohol to get past the pain. I obsessed over how dirty I felt, from the person’s behavior toward me. Again God stayed with me and whispered, “You’re my creation. You’re strong and healthy. You’re perfect and chaste. Keep going…I’m with you…..YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE IT!”

Long story short, I found a great family therapist that helped me peel back the layers of my experiences in life to help me find my core. She helped me remember who I was. God used her in such a way that I knew I was exactly all those things God kept telling me I was. I am a survivor, who doesn’t like to focus on anything but making it happen for me and my family. I will not cow to negative thoughts or anything that wouldn’t give praise to my Lord.

However, at 2 a.m. when I’m groggy or not fully alert….a few of those old thoughts may be triggered from a dream. I have to wake myself up and pray THANKS TO GOD for making me who I am, was, and will be. Thanks to HIM for who He is, was, and will always be.

I probably won’t tag anyone with this, because I would never encourage anyone to focus on anything that wouldn’t be positive. Hey we all know negative or bad things happen…let’s do what we can to overcome them!

I posted this on my other site, but felt it important enought to post here too. Pardon the redundancy for those of you who read both.

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technical difficulties

It has come to my attention, from comments from a faithful reader, that my widgets are screwy. Mylifestartsatfourtytwo said when she views my blog through internet explorer my blog appears normal, but when seen through FireFox it doesn’t.

I downloaded FireFox to check it out. She’s right…through my Safari– my blog looks fine. The widgets don’t appear like they’be thrown themselves up all over the sides of my page. Through FireFox, however, it’s every widget for themselves. They’re doing the mambo or something.

Can anyone help me figure this out and get me back on track????