This I Believe

Brian - Cleveland, Ohio
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Freedom Isn’t Free

The freedoms that we as Americans have been granted are often time taken for granted or even go as far as to be under appreciated. I feel that this is because we were born into these freedoms and most of us haven’t actually had to earn or protect them. What some of us don’t realize is that even though these freedoms have been earned decades, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be taken away. Yes, our total armed forces including overseas as well as here in the United States doesn’t even make up one percent of our countries population, but this doesn’t mean that such a “small” group should not be supported nor thanked. These people don’t even know who a great majority of us even are, but they have volunteered their lives so that they can fight to protect our rights and freedoms.

I hate to admit, but even I have taken these rights for granted up until just recently. A kid I’ve grown up with since I was at least 12 years old who had a bright future in college and was a close friend of mine, joined the marines about a year ago in hopes of going to Iraq. His name’s Jake and our first day of class here at BG was the day that he was leaving for Iraq. It was not only a big day for me starting at a new school, but the scary thought went through my head that the weekend before coming here may have been the last time I’ll ever hang out with him.

His parents threw him a huge going away party ranging from friends who have only just met him, childhood friends, and his family. You’d think there’d be tears shed but it was the exact opposite, everyone was smiling. We are all proud for him and what he is doing as well as having the utmost respect for what he’s doing; it was a great time and a night he won’t forget. He’s not only going for us, but for any U.S citizen. He has volunteered to fight for his beliefs as well as the beliefs as many. He knows of the price and it’s not only him who knows, but now we’ve all been enlightened on this as well. It helped me realize that you can’t put a price on freedom since you can’t put a price on the lives that fight for it.

I can still remember playing pick-up games of football with him, going to Cavs games, or even just watching television with him and the gang. Jake as well as all of the other troops have been in all of our prayers. It was a real shock that it took an event such as this to help me realize that our Freedom isn’t free. We have to be able to fight to earn our beliefs as well as to fight in order to protect them. It’s because of people like Jake, people you and I may or may not even know, that let us live our lives to the fullest. Thanks, Jake.