The Cost of Freedom from a Military Wife’s POV
by Bethany Jett
The beautiful colors of summer run red, white, and blue. Storefront windows with proud patriotic displays and firework pop-up tents litter the sides of the roads and parking lots.
Grills full of burgers, brats, and hot dogs and picnics with all the fixings are celebratory signs of this country that we love so much.
We celebrate our independence and remember the true cost that’s been incurred over the last 245 years.
The ultimate cost of freedom is found in the spilt blood, the lives lost, and the uncertainty of the ones missing in action.
But the cost of freedom is paid, at first, in small increments, with a rippling effect that touches the lives of more than the military servicemember.
The cost of freedom is found in the hearts of the military and the tears of the family and friends they leave behind. Their grit. Their desire. Their unwavering love of America.
As a military wife whose husband has been on several deployments and trips, I can attest firsthand to the sacrifice that comes with taking care of a family while your spouse is halfway across the world.
Once, our bank account was hacked less than 24-hours after Justin deployed.
The car will break down. Every. Time.
Birthdays and anniversaries are missed; holidays come and go.
And all too often, the support systems are small because of a strict “don’t talk about deployments online” requirement.
Freedom didn’t come free. Freedom doesn’t stay free. But those who choose to keep freedom as our guiding light do so in spite of the cost, and that includes the bravery of our children who say goodbye to parents who fight and serve.
The following is an excerpt from my book They Call Me Mom:
We’ve taught our kids to respect the flag and we’re teaching the history of our country. Our kids watched most of the debates during the presidential election and we discussed the issues on both sides of the aisle.
They learned about democracy and the electoral system. We teach them how brave our forefathers were when they came to America, and why fighting for freedom is so important.
And when their daddy kissed them goodbye before his deployment, our kids knew that his safety wasn’t certain, but they believed in the reason he was leaving.
We live in a great nation where the majority of our children have access to education, clean water, and food. We aren’t oppressed and we can worship freely.
We teach our kids to be respectful of our leaders because we believe that God is in control of nations, and that He alone “deposes kings and raises up others” (Dan. 2:21).
Justin and I have not always agreed with who sat in the president’s chair, but what we taught our children is that just like in the military, we respect the position even if we don’t care for the person.
We teach our kids to pray for our leaders, asking God to protect them and give them wisdom. We’re also guilty of getting a little heated during election season, but it’s important that our children understand why our government is so important.
No matter what political positions you hold or which party you claim, let’s unite, if just for a moment, as mothers who support one another regardless of our differences. Our diversity makes us great, but it is our love for one another that makes us strong.
Being a respecter of persons and a respecter of our leaders is a lesson I want instilled in the hearts of my children forever, no matter the political climate of the day.
On this most amazing of holidays, we celebrate the brilliance of our Founding Fathers.
We honor the ones who have gone before us and sacrificed, many with their lives.
We toast those who wake up every morning to fight another day.
The July 4th celebration should be the biggest of our year. To celebrate in a huge way with our friends and families honors those who sacrifice.
Even in the hardest moments of Justin’s deployments…those moments where tears wouldn’t stop flowing, when it felt like my heart was breaking, and when I thought I could not handle one more minute…I knew deep (sometimes it was veeeeery deep) down that the cause was noble. That this sacrifice was bigger than us because there were others who’d paid a bigger price.
Independence Day is to be enjoyed because we are here to enjoy it.
Freedom doesn’t come free; and if we’re not careful, we risk losing it.
The US is the greatest nation in the world, so dust off those red, white, and blue decorations! Fly our beautiful flag! Set off those fireworks!
July 4th is a day of rejoicing and merriment and remembrance so embrace it. The incredible men and women who sacrifice in a multitude of ways deserve to have this day, and truly every day, full of Americans who are unabashedly proud of this country.
May God bless you, and as always, may God bless America.
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