Freedom: The right to speak or act without restriction, interference, or fear, or; a country’s right to rule itself, without interference from, or domination by, another country or power, or; the state of being unaffected by, or not subject to, something unpleasant or unwanted.
Many, I am sad to say, take this word for granted and suppress its central meaning, subjugating it to surmise their own selfish, carnal liberties afforded to them by this nation and those who have, and continue to, PROTECT it. I am surrounded by heroes every day, men and women who have sacrificed much, even to the point of physical and mental detriment, to avert those who would, and currently seek to see this last bastion of freedom destroyed. From WWII veterans to OIF and OEF soldiers, I see my fellow Veterans daily, with a less than brilliant gleam in their eye, and I know why.
They are often assailed for their service to this nation seen as bullying and warring by what I call moral hypocrites, who themselves are clueless as to what it actually takes to maintain this great nation’s sovereignty. Though I have never experienced battle, I am nonetheless proud to have served, and I continue to serve my nation as a Police Officer for the Alaska VA Healthcare System and Anchorage Regional Office. I am honored to serve those who gave much, who lick their wounds both physical and mental, sustained in their selfless fight for freedom.
I may be preaching to the choir when I say this, but I feel it bears conveying, and that is; freedom is not free.
Freedom Is Not Free
We all enjoy our freedom every day
And a great many take it for granted,
As a combat veteran tries to pray;
For their soul undoubtedly supplanted.
Picture all the nightmares you’ve ever had
Including the sweat and heart pounding fear,
Imagine this slowly driving you mad;
As loved ones watch your spirit disappear.
The point I am making is, have a heart
For those who sacrificed for freedom’s sake,
Please don’t ostracize or set them apart;
For the harsh decisions they had to make.
And although with war you may not agree,
Remember my friend, that freedom’s not free.
Michael J. Donnelly is an Army Veteran of more than 15 years who continues to serve as a police officer for the VA health care system in Anchorage, Alaska.