"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Every generation is called upon to protect our liberty."
Ryan joining the Army really pulled me out of this sheltered bubble I didn't even realize I lived in. Yeah, I watched the devastating news from my chemistry class when 9/11 happened, and my heart broke for all those who lost loved ones. Yeah, I knew we would respond to the terrorism, but the soldiers who were going to fight weren't people I knew. I didn't know their favorite hobbies, their favorite band, etc. It made the war seem so far away.
So when Ryan first told me he was thinking of joining the Army, I didn't know what to think. The Army was the last place I envisioned Ryan. Maybe behind a computer programming software, or designing a comic, or especially crafting a video to share with his friends for some laughs, but the Army? A part of me, the selfish part, sincerely hoped he would change his mind and remain close by. But as the days turned into weeks, he didn't falter in his decision...he just became more determined.
I hated the idea of him leaving, of something bad happening to him. I wanted him home where I could see him, there when I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to know he was safe. I found the aforementioned quote a long time ago. Once I thought about what Jefferson was saying, I realized he had a valid point. From the American Revolution to the Civil War, to World War I and II, the Cold War (I know it wasn't really a war, but you know what I mean...), Vietnam and Korea, to now, it's true. The reason they're fighting is still the same...to protect our freedom.
It's so hard to say good-bye to him at the airport, not knowing when I'll get to see him again, that he won't be five minutes away when I want to go goof off with him, that I can't call him when I need someone to talk to because he'll be out in the field, it's so easy to lose sight of the big picture...of what's really happening, and what it is he and so many others are really accomplishing.
Because previous generations answered when they were called to protect our freedom, I can post this blog and not be afraid of the ramifications for speaking my mind, I can go to church without fear of reprisal and so on. He's following in our predecessors' footsteps, standing up to our generation's threat against our freedom. Even if he doesn't quite see it that way...