Everyone has heard the phrase “Freedom isn’t free.” It is seen on the walls of veteran’s memorials and entry ways of VA hospitals. Yet, there are far too many Americans that are politically just to the left of center that are very hasty in voting their rights away in exchange for alleged “free stuff!” I am not writing to discuss how the “free stuff” isn’t truly free or how you need the government to take the money of others by force to give these individuals their “free stuff.” I won’t detail how these individuals feel “the right” to take the fruit of other people’s labor and make their fellow American beholden to provide them with their financial security- Party switch? Yea right- I am out to provide the voter just the left of center a full grasp of what they are throwing away and at what expense these freedoms have cost.
It should be noted that not only is the freedom that we have in this country not free, but it is not paid for either. The freedoms that many of us take for granted, periodically need payments made to preserve it. Annuities made by men and women, some of whom will never get to experience them again. These are not expenditures entirely made of monetary value, but also of service and sacrifice. As long as there is a free populace, there will be tyrants attempting to rule them. As long as there is a free nation willing to fight tyrants ranking number one, there will be totalitarian nations working to take them down. Therefore, there will always be a need of courageous Americans willing to pay it all on our behalf.
So how high has the “price of freedom” ran in our nation’s history? The first payment was 4,435 lives in the American Revolution; 2,260 lives in the War of 1812; 1,000 lives in the Indian Wars; 13,283, in the Mexican-American War; 498,332 in the Civil War; 2,446 lives in the Spanish-American War; 116,516 lives in World War I; 405,399 lives in World War II; 36,754 lives for the Korean War; 58,220 lives for Vietnam; 383 lives in the Persian Gulf; 2,363 lives in Afghanistan; 4,492 lives in Iraq and 362 lives in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and Haiti. This brings us to a sum of 1,146,245 American lives that have been lost as payments that have been made on our behalf thus far. Considering the average individual contains 5.5 liters of blood that means an estimated 6,304,348 liters or 1,665,433 gallons has been shed across the world and on our own soil to compensate for our freedom that some are about to vote away. Please keep in mind, this does not even take into account those who survived, yet sustained life altering injuries nor how their sacrifice and struggle will continue.
Does the sacrifice culminate with the ending of an American troop’s life? Well, has anyone considered the 1,146,245 mothers and fathers that have had to bury their child? Or the servicemen who live, but are serving our nation instead of being with their family? The hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fathers that will never walk their daughters down the aisle of their wedding, the multiplicity of sons that miss out playing catch or getting woken early to go fishing with their father. Do you consider the millions of birthdays or anniversaries that will never be celebrated? The first words that are never heard or first steps that are never witnessed? The millions of marriages that are ended, or the affairs accumulated or the tears shed? Many forget that the sacrifice extends beyond the battlefield and not limited to just those providing direct service. Many overlook the lost hours that the average person logs in with their family. Should their sacrifices be thrown away just as those who place their lives on the line?
Perhaps having a potential monetary number would be a sufficient image for these leftists to grasp? If we take the 44,392,128 men and women that have served in our military during these time of war, and implement an estimated one year deployment to each of them, (underestimation if you ask me, but should make up for the fraction that never deployed) it brings us to the obvious total of 44,392,128 years served overseas. That comes to 532,705,536 months; 2,130,822,144 weeks; 14,915,755,008 days; and finally 357,978,120,192 hours communally served. If each were the current average minimum wage of $7.25, we draw an approximated 2.6 trillion dollars that Americans have accumulated during times of war and away from home.
To those that are “left of center” that plan on voting for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. I am convinced that you have only considered what YOU may gain by your vote. The modern left has to ignore the Constitution in order to deliver what they promised. This “free stuff” is not free nor are these leftist politicians so benevolent that they don’t seek to take something that you already possess – something so valuable that it will never be paid off. Whether your motive is based on the assumed “free college,” “free healthcare” or the transitory case of the “feel goods” believing you have “helped the poor,” I implore each of you to ask yourself, “What do I already have? What am I giving away? What is in it for them (Bernie or Hillary)?” Lastly, the most important I would like to ask is which do you value more, “free stuff” or your freedom?
[References: Office of Public Affairs. (2015, May). America’s Wars. Retrieved from Department of Veterans Affairs and Shiel Jr., W. (2002, October 1). Blood, How Much Do We Have? Retrieved from MedicineNet]