This I Believe

Jaime - Boalsburg, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: freedom

There is a Price on Freedom

Before September 11, I never thought about the price of my freedom. I didn’t do anything to earn it; I was born into a privileged country that was free. I grew up knowing that everything I wanted I would be able to achieve. I never considered how much it cost to keep that freedom until the aftermath of that September day.

Due to September 11 I watched as my cousin, who was in the Army, deploy to Afghanistan. I watched as he left his new bride and their infant son and sacrificed all that time away from his loved ones. For an entire year, he missed seeing his wife every day and watching his son as he grew. The price they paid was that of constant worry for his safety and well-being. This was the first time I saw first-hand how much soldiers and their families have to pay for our freedom.

Freedom costs money: the cost of soldiers’ salaries, the cost of weapons, and the cost of military intelligence. The cost that most don’t consider is that paid by the soldiers and their families themselves. They pay the price of sacrifice and end up sacrificing many of their own freedoms like the freedom to spend an evening together, to go out to dinner, to share in your child’s school problems, or even to have a face-to-face conversation. I know what it’s like to lose those freedoms one weekend a month as my boyfriend participates in military training, but, especially nowadays, many other families have to do this one year at a time. The true price of freedom comes from the military families and their responsibility to forgo the every day freedoms one is able to share with their loved ones.

My boyfriend once commented on my “Support Our Troops” car magnet and said, “You know, this not only means you’re supporting the soldiers but you’re supporting their families as well.” Since being with my boyfriend I have really grown to appreciate how much our troops and their families are paying for our freedom. I now know and appreciate the real price of freedom and thank those who are paying the most.