What Freedom Means - Memorial Day Edition May 28, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017
This blog is not going to be a motivator about weight loss. If you are looking for that today, move along.
This blog is about a story I want to share, and I will let it speak for itself.
Years ago, I was living in Wisconsin, and was working at the Veteran's Administration as a physician. I was assigned a group of young medical school students. We had an incredible opportunity one day to talk to the veterans and allow them to tell us their story. We met vets from different wars that the US was involved in, and these men had such different experiences. It was a living history lesson, a swatch of all our recent wars and a few distant ones.
The World War Two veteran: "We went over there to save the world!" He proudly told us.
The Iraqi War veteran: "We fought for freedom!" He was so young, and so proud.
And then the Vietnam veteran: And it was his story that affected me the most. Perhaps because he was old enough to be an older brother to me. I had to explain to the students how rare it was to see Vietnam vets using the VA facilities. They were so incredibly mistreated by our government, that many refused to ask for help from the government. He was a burly man, in his fifties at the time. One of the first vets to go to Vietnam in the mid 1960s. He told us that he and his buddies were nine who went over together. And two came home. He spoke as if all these events had just occurred last week, when in reality it was decades earlier. He cried. And my heart broke for him.
Our freedom comes at a heavy price. To truly appreciate what we have, even with all the flaws that make up our current oppositional political landscape, go live abroad and see what other countries have and then realize how much we take for granted.
If you encounter a vet today, let him or her know that you appreciate their service and their sacrifice which they made for our country and for us. It is because of these dedicated individuals that we are truly free.