Rose: Honor veterans by being a voice for freedom



As this Veterans Day draws to a close and most of us are winding down for the night, give thought to the reason why you might count on having a good night’s rest in you tomorrow morning. Pause a moment when you awake to appreciate the lack of bombs that fell during the night. Whether you read a morning newspaper, Twitter updates, or your Facebook newsfeed, take note that all can be tailored to you in English.

Just recently, I had another conversation with someone who was very insistent that military service veterans are some of the most spoiled people on the planet. Vets essentially have it made, this person claimed, with perks like great enlistment pay and excellent benefits for life. Free meals and what-have-you on days like today. Though I have never worn the uniform myself, I nonetheless differ from this, what I feel to be a way-too-commonplace, opinion. I also feel I must ask everyone sharing these sentiments: what would it be worth to you to miss the first steps of your daughter? Or her first date? Your son’s first touchdown? Or his graduation? Your baby sister giving birth to your nephew? Or your mom’s 50th birthday party?

What would you estimate the dollar value to be on the last family reunion your grandparents would be at? What’s your price for missing, for years now, every barbeque, every tailgate for every football game, every weekend motorcycle ride with friends? How much would you charge to miss, for an indefinite amount of time, the sparkling of your wife’s eyes while she looks at you with adoration? The passion of your husband laying you down in bed? Come up with a monetary figure, and tell me that amount. I invite you to negotiate it perhaps with the next veteran you meet. 

Tell them how they got a good deal on it. That lack of leg or limb, that nerve-damaged hand or maybe a missing ear, all completely worth the free healthcare. Never mind the 90-day wait to get seen. The scars and traumas from a war-torn hell, having death happen in front of you to people you know, must be pennies on the dollar in nightmares and griefs that probably could endure a series of lifetimes. And that wallet of pictures the only memories of a life once lived? Well, steady income was received for it. 

Remember that monetary figure you came up with? Look at yourself in the mirror now and tell that price tag to yourself. Then go out and thank from the bottom of your heart the next person you see who wrote out a blank check to the government–signed, sealed, and insured with their very life. 

Yes, the ribbons, the pins, the medals, the perks, the recognition–all are nice, but we could do even better. For ’tis not enough to solely express our gratitude. A great way to indeed help honor their service would be for us to actually aid in protecting what it was they sacrificed for. Our men and women in uniform didn’t go to hell and back so you could fritter away your freedom at home. Some heroes might be getting shot at right now while you read this, in the name of democracy and the rule of law; meanwhile, people here in the U.S. are using this same technology I am typing on to clamor for the demise of these institutions. What are you going to do about that?

At your local city and county commission meetings, right down the street, liberty is lost a little more nearly each time a motion is passed. Who stands up to remember the cost of freedom there? When tyranny comes to your town, your region, your state, how many answer the call and rise up and reject what it is you say our military has warred against for generations?

If you are truly proud of our servicemen and servicewomen, why not help them where they legitimately and desperately need it? Why is it that we feel we can only express our gratitude by donating a meal, a discount, or a handshake, something of the like, and let government agencies take care of the rest? We love to point fingers at the VA and call it a prime example of government-run healthcare, but what are we actually doing about it? Why not volunteer a solution for the soldier who offered his or her life for you?

Why not? Why not, indeed. You stand for the National Anthem, a mere song. You stand for the Pledge, a mere ritual with socialist origins. Why not stand when it truly matters? 

I want to invite everyone reading this to please taper down your attention to national media outlets such as Fox News and CNN. These corporations’ day-to-day business are very similar in nature, designed to sell advertising on stories that you and I have little to no effect on, much less power to fix or control. Instead, why not focus our efforts where effectiveness may be maximized and where your attention may be rewarded as doing the most good? 

I say: let us honor those in uniform by affirming the authority that was entrusted to us by the founders of this great country. Let us pledge to ourselves and to our posterity that we will not suffer the Republic for which she stands, that brave men and women sacrificed the best years of their life for, to die in our lifetime. 

Let us grab on to the power that each one of us possesses as an American, provided especially for us in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Let us hold our elected leaders accountable. Let’s expect them to serve as agents of individual liberty and limited government. To protect the natural rights of we the people, not a partisan agenda. 

Let us do this. And let us begin where it matters most—at the local level. Turn off the tube and get yourself on the news. Become active in a political party. Attend your town hall meetings. Stay in contact with your representatives. Be a voice for freedom and get stuff done. Partner with others in your community and join a charitable organization. Show our veterans that the cause for their valor is still a valid and prosperous one.

God bless our veterans. And may God bless America.

Chris Rose II is an elected member of the Rules Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida

The opinions expressed by letter or opinion writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AlachuaChronicle.com.

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