Letter to the Editor: Freedom is not Free

Freedom is not free. Freedom has a price. Freedom is courage.

There is a testament of quality distinction that all veterans carry throughout their life.

As a proud wife of a deceased World War II veteran, I feel a need to write two true stories of commitment, duty, honor and patriotism.

As I take my daily walk around our Senior Romeo Gardens everyday, friends come out to offer me a “cool drink of water,” and to “chat.” On one occasion a senior “grandpa” approached me with tears in his eyes. I asked what the problem was?

He replied, his grandson – a veteran – was buried yesterday. He had been deployed about three times in the Middle East. He could not find a job. He hung himself in his garage. He left behind a wife and small child.

My husband, Chuck, (I have written about before) was on the beach of Normandy during the invasion. He was on the second landing called “Utah.” His few stories of the mines in the sand, and men blown up around him were horrific. My husband and all combat veterans have demons with them a lifetime.

People of faith know “hope” can always take a life of its own – “you are never alone.” These brave men and women are a true “band of brothers and sisters,” never alone.

American flags are always flying around our home. I need to advocate and empower all people to stand up and demonstrate to our village, our country and the world what our America illustrates and stands for.

Lift high our flag, our veterans and our patriotism. All servicemen and women should always be honored and respected. When they are deployed, they never know if they will return home.

The repayment of the debt we owe to our veterans and families should never be forgotten. We are all continually grateful for their sacrifices. I feel humility. A thank you is not enough. 

Shirlee J. Pergler


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