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Freedom's Price

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So it's officially September 11th where I live. I have to admit, I feel a bit compelled to say something in respect for those fallen and those left behind. Today marks one of the most tragic days in American history and it seems only right to continue to acknowledge it. A lot of people think we should stop talking about it. A lot of people believe that we're just giving the terrorists what they want, by giving this subject attention. Well, I'm not one of those people.

My heart and thoughts go out today to the families of the lost. I will never, ever pretend as if I know what you are feeling or what you have gone through. My husband is in the military, and events such as these make me so happy that his time will be up soon and he will be getting out. I worry about him every day.

My husband joined the military prior to September 11th - something that not many soldiers can say these days. A lot of people joined immediately after in pure outrage. While I respect those men and women, I have to say that I respect men and women like my husband, who wanted to defend our freedom at ALL times - not just during a national emergency.

My husband was apart of 1st Cav back then. His unit received deployment orders in March 2003 to reposition forces as required to support the President Bush's global war against terrorism...but those orders were quickly canceled at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. July 23, 2003 the 1st Cavalry Division was identified as a unit that would deploy in 2004 as part of the Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 rotation. That's right.. my husband was apart of the second round of soldiers to deploy to Iraq.

My husband served a 14 month tour in OIF. He was sent home with a permanent injury and continues to suffer nerve damage in his right leg. He was immediately sent from Iraq to a military hospital in Atlanta, GA for treatment. Since being released, he was sent back to Fort Hood, and later to Fort Gordon - where he has been ever since.

Freedom isn't free...and my family continues to pay the price. My husband will never get his strength back. He will go through life in pain and misery until the day he dies. I know that sounds exaggerated, but it's true. My husband's time served in OIF was the starting cause of all of the problems he's facing now - and that includes his upcoming surgery to try to fix one of his ankles. He'll also need several surgeries on his back, more surgeries on his leg, his hands, his shoulder and his other ankle. He spends most days in excruciating pain - something we hope to fix by getting these surgeries. He has hurt himself on more than one occasion, lifting our 9 month old daughter. If that alone isn't payment enough to this country..then I don't know what is.

There is a saying that goes "If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a Soldier." Well I say, if you are sitting down at your desk, sipping your mocha latte whatevers or eating your bagels...thank a Soldier. You are doing something that many of them would give anything in the world to be doing right now. But instead, they are in other countries - away from their family, friends and loved ones. They defend your right to sit at home. They defend your right to free speech. They defend your right to LIVE. A lot of them won't come back...they will die for a cause that they may want no part of. But they do it, for YOU and for our COUNTRY.

So, if you think we shouldn't talk about it.. and you think it's all behind us.. and you think it's done and over with - you're wrong. There are so many families affected by the tragedy and many families continue to suffer injuries and mourn the loss of their families. Keep those people in your thoughts, hearts and prayers today, remembering that they paid the ultimate price for you.

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