How much is freedom worth?


Living with my nephew’s death has been hell. Sometimes I don’t think the pain will ever go away. Reading the milblogs has helped a lot. It makes me feel like I am helping in some small way if I can say something to boost the spirit of one of our troops. It makes me feel like maybe Mike didn’t die in vain.

But his death has tore our family apart in many ways. Ours is probably not any different from others who have lost a loved one in this war. We have those for the war, those opposed to the war. Some are die hard Democrats no matter what. Some are die hard Republicans. Others lean toward being or are Libertarians. I don’t really know what I consider myself any more. Frankly I don’t think it matters. I think it more important to look, listen, research, and make informed votes.

Some like myself think Bill Clinton did our country a great harm in this war on terror and the paper shuffle that made so many think he had an enormous amount of debt cleared up and left us in the green. (I voted for him, by the way) My mom and my sister think George Bush is responsible for Mike’s death. Everyone is doing the best they can to handle his death. But some of us haven’t accepted he’s gone and can’t grieve.

When Mike died we didn’t have letters from his buddies or visits to help us adjust. This big Blue Machine called the Navy took him away for what was going to be a short, reasonably safe tour and then bring him back to us. Some of us felt all along he wouldn’t be coming back all that soon. I honestly felt he’d be extended. The bitch of it all was his unit finished sooner than expected and in a few more days he would have been home.

It has been a while since I allowed myself to write about any of this because some jerk made a comment on one of the support forums I was going to that I wasn’t the only one who lost someone in this war. I felt so bad after I read that comment I stopped posting there. Then I found out Mike’s wife had come across some of my posts and had a comment to make that wasn’t particularly flattering.

Well too damn bad! This is my blog. Not someone else’s forum. I can say what I want and anyone who doesn’t like it can either not read the post, say what they think and take their chances, or go elsewhere. I am tired of having to temper my grief. I don’t want to temper it any more. It stinks! It sucks! It’s so damn unfair! I feel like I want to get on top of the tallest “anything” I can find and shout at God, Why? Why did you have to take him? It isn’t fair!! How could you be so cruel. What kind of God are you anyway? Are you listening God? I want an answer. Now, not next year, not even tomorrow, now, damn it, now! I have no more tears to flow, nothing but emptiness inside, and pain, gut wrenching, agonizing pain!

So God, if I feel this bad, and Mike was my nephew, how bad does my sister fell? How has she managed to get up each and every day and go to work? How can she watch Mike’s kids sometimes five or six times a week, other times less, and smile, laugh, and play with his kids and help them feel better. I don’t think I have that kind of courage. I cannot imagine how I would ever survive the death of one of my two kids!

After all these months of blogging, I have become accustomed to the patterns of the milbloggers. I recognize the agonizing signs another soldier has died. I feel the fear and dread that begins to build as each day of silence stretches into another. I hover over that blog or those blogs. Will this time be one of those courageous soldiers I read so voraciously for news from the “front?’ I pray to God, no not him or her. Don’t take them away from us too!We need him/her. It will hurt too much. I don’t think I can take it!

But I can and I will. Because maybe they need me and all us other bloggers as much as we need them. They need to tell us about what killing, war, the fear of dying, the loss of a buddy does to them, how it feels, how they feel. We need to know, want to know, because we want to understand, want to help them, need to help them. These soldiers could be one of us, one of our loved ones, a friend! I want to know, to hear, because I don’t want them to carry this burden all alone, then come home battered and scarred to the soul, feeling like they carry this burden alone. We sent them to fight, to give up their lives if necessary, to keep us safe.

But we need to hear so we can know our loved one didn’t die alone, uncared for, anonymous! We need to know so that if they do die, we can carry this knowledge deep inside ourselves, next to our grief to help shore us up in our grief. We need to know so we do not have to grieve alone, our troops don’t have to grieve alone, our friends don’t have to grieve alone.

We need to share their fears, their pain, their grief, so we can comfort them and let them know we care. That we are here for them. That it is OK for them to need us too. We need each other in what is almost a symbiotic relationship of shared feelings.

This is what war is really like. This is the cost, sometimes, of freedom. This is what the MSM and all those fools who would have us quit seem to run away from or ignore. Even when the pain, the grief, the suffering is more than anyone can or should bear, can anyone of good conscientious say it is too much to pay for freedom? I think not After over twenty years of attacks against our country and a “declaration of war” by bin Laden, is the issue of WMDs really “the ” issue? I think not. When negotiation, resolution, and every other means of peaceful resolve have failed, is there any other response? I think not. There is only one recourse for America and the peaceful world. There is only one reply to the terrorists who threaten to kill us and destroy our way of lie. There is only one response to be spoken from the highest point on earth to bin Laden and all the Islamic extremists.

On March 23, 1775 at St John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, Patrick Henry gave a speech to the The Second Virginia Convention that is as accurate and appropriate today as it was that other day over 200 years ago:

” “Mr. President, no man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. “Mr. President, it is natural for a man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove to be a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the instruments of war and subjugation — the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy in this quarter of the world to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British Ministry have been so long forging.

“And what have we to oppose them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to treaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the Ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

“There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained; we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

“They tell us, sir…that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature has placed in our power. Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty and in such a country as that which we possess are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

“Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come!! I repeat it, sir, let it come!!!

“It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace; but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

“Forbid it, Almighty God — I know not what course others may take; but as for me — give me liberty or give me death!””

Please offer your prayers and support to the Night Stalkers. They lost four of their own last week.

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~ by devildog6771 on November 7, 2005.

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