Monday, July 4, 2011

What Does Freedom Mean To You?

1. ability to act freely: a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restraints or restrictions

2. release from captivity or slavery: release or rescue from being physically bound, or from being confined, enslaved, captured, or imprisoned
3. country's right to self-rule: a country's right to rule itself, without interference from, or domination by, another country or power

My oldest daughter drew that poster in sixth grade and won a local contest. The Theme was 'Peace Begins with Me.' The Girl is an American Girl. The countries behind her symbolize what the US holds on it's broad shoulders. One eye holds a peace sign, the other hold no arms. Her lips are smaller countries with no voice, her teeth are music keys and music notes joining together in song 'Let Peace Begin With Me.' In her Dinner speech she softly said that we are leaders by example to other countries and if we begin with peace others will follow.

As a parent when my daughter ran in the house to say she was doodling on some art. It didn't mean much....because she's always doodling in art. I didn't know she'd entered a contest until they'd knocked on my door inviting us to a dinner in her honor and a check for her poster. When we think of the cost of freedom or what freedom stands for, all I can say is out of the mouths of babes comes great insight. Children and even teens for the most part call it as they see it.

For my daughter the price of Freedom has come at a great cost. Her father is now home on US Soil and has been for the first time in her entire life and she's sixteen. His unit remained continually deployed in Iraq only to come home to train and return.
She's had to learn how to cope with situations out of her control in her early teen years and keep things from her father when he did have a chance to call. She's had cousins die over at war not too far from where her father was. In our world of "No Coms" or "Black Com's" when you know something negative you don't tell the soldier until they return home or are not at the front. Responsibility comes with great sacrifice not only for our soldiers away but for the families that also protect them mentally.

Sometimes I think we forget just how much of a sacrifice is made. I love the Fourth because it reminds me that we live in a great country even though we're spoiled as shit and it's easy to become angry at economical circumstance. In the end though there's no other like us. Built America Strong.

Who'd have thought back before our birth that a bunch of misfits kicked out of their families and countries searching for a new start would build a great nation that is more powerful than the nations their ansestors booted them out of.
His- Story. Is how our history became direct knowledge. Maybe not all of the history needed in books was written. That doesn't mean it never existed because every culture passes down stories to remind us of the past so that we can be thankful for what we Have right now.

Have you stopped and said thankyou to anyone lately aside from your choice in spiritualism?

My Bootcamp sisters- We were the Iron Maidens and we rocked Naval Bootcamp Orlando Florida!

Some pics from my Naval Bootcamp yearbook

Senior Chief Petty Officer Towel 'Company Commander'

We had an interesting relationship. I was the Guidon meaning I carried the company flag and sang cadence across parade grounds because I didn't know how to STFU. Some things never change. We had a love hate relationship. The enlisted who'd never had a ounce of discipline and the hard core training commander who demanded obedience. Somehow I did manage to wrap him around my finger and I became his pet.

Gettin ready to do the long jump three diving boards high and then tread for an hour and blow up our dungaree bottoms as bouy.

If you really thought I was gonna show you the one of me puking my guts out and snot everywhere you were mistaken. However it pleased me to no end to find out after our chem training with the masks that I WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE....WHO TOOK A BREATH WHILE PUTTING IT ON instead of after.

No one likes getting innoculations!

I hope you enjoyed some of my personal pics. It's important to end with fond memories and the bonding that's done even in the beginning of becoming a service member.

I'll be giving away a copy of Embrace The Moment my USCG Military Romance Novella random.org to a person who comments. Please Put your email addy in your response and if you've already purchased this one and get picked you'll be able to choose from what's on my website!

I hope everyone has a great 4th!


Tina Donahue said...

What a beautiful post, Hales - I hope you and yours have a wonderful 4th - you've earned it. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tina making the food now as we speak!

Cheryl Pierson said...

What a thoughtful, wonderful post! I absolutely loved that picture your daughter did. Very detailed, and you could just see the thought she put into each part of it. Thank you for your service, and thanks to your husband. My husband was in Viet Nam, back before we knew one another. He still talks about it. Military service affects the soldier forever. And it affects their family forever. Thanks so much for this wonderful 4th of July post!

Anonymous said...

What a great glimpse into your personal meaning of freedom. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

YW Cheryl :) He's not my husband though :) My DH is an acc ountant. I will ding her father and tell him though and you're right it does affect the family forever.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kay! I thought it would be nice to add a bit of personal in!

susan said...

Thanks for sharing some of your personal life with us and I thank you for your part in our freedom we have. Your daughter's picture tells so much and so glad she won with it. It was a well done job. susan Leech garysue@dejazzd.com

Valerie Mann said...

Hales, your daughter was in 6th grade? That's amazing insight for the age, but I'm sure her mama had something to do with it. Your post almost made me cry. I think our country is the most amazing on the planet. We have a right to be proud, as well as the obligation that comes with it. Thanks for your service and God Bless your family in the service!

Sandy said...


What a wonderful post. It brought tears to my eyes. You're right, we are a spoiled people who complain at every turn, but your post should help open some eyes. I can only hope.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt post, Hales. I loved your daughter's poster. I can't imagine what it must be like to have a father fighting a war away from home almost all your life. Loved the videos. I have Lee Greenwood's CD/ I bought it right after 9/11.
It seems that every time you post I find out something new about you. I had no idea you served in the Navy. Thank you for your service.
Have a wonderful Fourth of July.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ladies! Val she is in 10th grade next year. I have that photo framed on the wall with her certificate from the Lion's Den and the newspaper article with her in it as well! Yeah. She surprises me all the time :) I didn't stay in since her dad was in the Navy then. He was on a ship in Japan and they wanted me to go on a sea tour. I couldn't leave her parentless with grandparents and chose to get out myself. I admire my friends who made it work staying in and have great military careers.

Anonymous said...

Hales I love your daughter's pic she is very talented!!! I love the USA and I am sooo proud of all the people that fight for our freedom!!!


Word Actress said...

I thought I would take a break from my computer and e-mails on this day of thanks for freedom, but I'm so glad I didn't. Your post made me proud and happy. I love your daughter's artwork and I LOVE that someone
actually came to your door to tell you she won. That's AWESOME!
Great day to you and yours and let's all be glad for the creative freedoms we have every day as writers...

Janice said...

Thank you for the reminder that our freedom isn't free, but it comes with great sacrifice.

Not only for the men and women that are send to war, but their families too.

Congratulations to your daughter for her award.

Fiona McGier said...

Hales you are such a multi-layered person. They say that we are all the sum of our experiences. You have led such an interesting life, and yet you are still so YOUNG! More power to you and your artistic daughter.

Marianne Stephens said...

Your daughter is talented. As a former military wife for 20 years, I know what it's like to raise children while their father is in the military. Parents and children all make sacrifices.
Your history is amazing! What an interesting life you've led.
Freedom isn't free...God bless our troops!

hotcha12 said...



Rawiya said...

Great post Hales!

Lovely pics too

hotcha12 said...


Anonymous said...

Freedom is reading and saying what we want and being able to pursue jobs, love whom we want, generally what we have in this great country.
Thank you for your service to our great country from a Marine Corps vet.