Last year my husband had the honor of standing next to his father in uniform. A day neither of them will ever forget.
We suprised my father in law with a visit to help him celebrate the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war on Memorial Day weekend. To make the surprise even bigger, my mother in law met with a marine recruiter who helped her put her husband's old uniform together. The night she surprised him with his uniform was not met with the excitement she was anticipating. Rather a look of, Woman, what are you doing to me?! The shock wore off, however, and how could he say no to standing next to his son proudly showing off their uniforms? It turned into a proud day that father and son shared together. Son watching his father being honored for his service in combat, and father seeing just how much his son loves to be a soldier.
Freedom Is Not Free
By LCDR Kelly Strong, USCG - Copyright 1981
I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Service man saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform So young,
so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin.
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free