Blogs » Lightsabers and Phasers » 10 years later

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The sight was spectacular at night. The flags seemed to dance and sway in the scattered spotlights across the lawn. My route home from work never took me by there, but I found myself there anyway. It may not have been the most amazing spectacle ever created on this earth, but it was definitely a powerful one. It was a field to honor those who knew the price of freedom.

I didn’t always understand the price of freedom. To say that I truly understand it now is an understatement. I truly never will – unlike those who understand that sacrifice daily as servicemen and women, firefighters and law enforcement to our country and communities. I don’t think I even thought about it much until an event 10 years ago changed that for my generation. It brought the call of war back at our doorstep. But even as I sat in 8th grade English watching the events of 9/11 unfold, I still didn’t totally understand. I wasn’t sure why someone would want to do that just to hurt innocent people.

Little did I know that I would be dating an Airman in 10 years or that my cousin would sign up for the army or that my 12-year-old brother would his summer at military camps because it’s where he knows he wants to go. This war has shaped my generation. It has shaped the relationships closest to me.

My boyfriend and I had only been dating a few weeks before he was told he would be deployed again by thanksgiving. He was stationed in Colorado at the time. It was a long distance relationship that was only going to get longer. I figured it wouldn’t be so bad with Skpye and instant messenger and email. Little did we know that as soon as he got deployed, circumstances would change. Several restationings have given us less communication options each time. All we’ve got is email now – but you know how internet in the middle of the hot desert can be.

Believe me, I’ve had the choice to back out of such a long distance relationship. But I’m so glad I haven’t. The things he and his flight partner and his brother (who is in the army) have seen are life changing. For them and for me. Of course I want them home. Selfishness sneaks up on me quite often. And their scheduled leave time changed from day to day. But I know there is nothing like the call of duty tugging at their hearts. They have a mission to carry out and I have the blessing and honor to be a support to their cause.

While many couples freely enjoy date nights and Starbucks and Skype chats together, remember that there are thousands sacrificing their lives. They leave wives, husbands, children, girlfriends and boyfriends home to fight for freedom and safety that so many take for granted. They live a disciplined, strict life so that you may freely live yours.