Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is Veteran's day. And while I could give thanks to the soldiers of all branches that have served, that seemed a little shallow and cliché even.  Trust me, I do stand behind all of our men and women in every branch of the military (even when I don't agree with their mission, I still support the boots on the ground, or in the water or air).
Instead, I chose to think about why I was thankful to the countless me and women who have served their county.
And it boils dow to this.  Freedom.  I am so thankful every day for the freedoms I have. 

I can have an opinion and I can express it, even if it goes against the popular opinion or current political opinion.   Sure I may get dirty looks or worse, but I know I am safe from.going to jail or being tortured for it.  Admittedly, telling the President he's a liar to his face usually isn't a good idea and could be taken as a threat, but you're allowed to have that opinion (which I don't, I was just using it as an example...)  I have the freedom to make my voice heard (or not) by voting (or not).  Yes, it took an amendment in the Constitution for me to get the right to vote, but I do have it.  (I will admit that I don't exercise this right as often or as well as I should, but I do use it.)  I can think, and say, that everyone in Congress is an idiot and should be fired in the next election.  Or, I could think that they walk on water and can do no wrong.  Or, as is actually the case, I can believe that there are good and bad people in there and that there's a huge amount of room for improvement.  I can say this and know that at worst I'll get some comments from friends of "you're dreaming and being a tree-hugging hippie again..."  And I'll smile and say "probably".

My property, such as it is, is safe from seizure.  (OK, so this sometimes gets abused...)

Like I said yesterday I have the right to an education and a choice in where and how I get it.  (Even though I do not remember that being spelled out letter by letter in the Constitution or amendments...)  I have the freedom to have a very religious based education as those who go to schools run by a particular religion receive or a completely secular education as provided by the public schools.  (Don't get me started on the whole religion in school thing.  If you demand prayer in school, find a way to send your child to a religious school.  If you demand prayer not in school in any way shape or form, find a school that works for you or find a way to home school.  For those of us who want our kids exposed to as many different ideas as possible, that, in theory, is what public school is for, neither promoting nor denying any one faith, creed or outlook on life. *gets off soap box*)

I have the freedom to drive a car, wear shorts, follow whichever religion (or none) that I want.  I can pray to whoever I want, if I want and no one can stop me.  I can pray go the great Spaghetti Monster if I feel so inclined.  Or, I can say that deities of any flavor are a load of crock and don't exist.  That's fine.  Believe what you want, just don't force me down your path, I'm on my own thanks.  I can actually own property, have a job, make as much money as I can, if I can convince someone to pay me that much.  I can start my own business, work for the public or private sector or serve in the armed services.

I think what I value most is the freedom to make my own decisions and to do well or fail by them.  Sure, I'm a tree-hugging hippie and think that a reasonable, caring government would have some kind of safety net in place.  Hopefully one that would be very hard to abuse, but there I go being an idealist again.

So, yes, thank you to all the men and women who have served or are serving our country.  Without your dedication to our country, we wouldn't be able to have the freedoms we have or be able to complain, bitch and moan about the things we do or don't have.

The picture at the top is one from this summer.  It is Steve with Boo on his shoulders.  Right now Steve and his troops are over in Afghanistan doing their job so that I may enjoy my right to bitch.  Thanks, and come home safely.

Peace and may you remember that your right to bitch and moan and complain comes at a high cost.

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