Veterans flag

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As his men advanced in the rugged, barren terrain, the sound of spraying bullets suddenly appeared from nowhere. He froze and stood motionless as he watched the Taliban bullets mow down his men…or were they al-Qaida insurgents?

He had ordered his men into a killing zone and could do nothing but watch. He heard their cries and looked into their pain stricken faces as the bullets minced them into pieces. The demons of war did not let him rest; the trauma of Afghanistan blended now with the horrors of Iraq.

He heard a resounding blast tare open the entrance to the hospital; smoke billowed from the fiery remains of the massive explosion. The smell of tritonal and cordite from the TNT and gunpowder, hung in the air. Spattered body parts, arms, and legs were everywhere. Dear God in Heaven! Was that the decapitated head of Charlie Brown hurling through the air…or was it Marissa’s Charlie? Now he could see Sergeant Washington’s disfigured face sailing across, followed by the shattered remains of Sergeant Walsh…Sergeant Maskin…then Lieutenant Uthman…and Colonel Franklin. His agony was unbearable. But the worst came last. Helplessly, he screamed out in pain as the torn up body of Marissa catapulted through the air with her terror stricken eyes begging for help.

“Lieutenant! Lieutenant, wake up! Wake up son; it’s only a nightmare. Come on, wake up!” From the dark abyss, Sean opened his transparent blue eyes. The face of a colonel, with caduceus on his lapels, looked at him.

The worst was yet to come. The young lieutenant was escorting the remains of Sergeant Marissa Collier Linz, a beautiful, young, single mom, and his fiancé who he loved very much.

The first gun salute ripped him out of the nightmare as he sat in front of the open gravesite. The remaining two gun salutes felt as if they were ripping through his body. Tears ran down his cheeks as the bugler played the final taps, and the officer of the burial detail presented the flag to little Charlie, Marissa’s young son.

“Don’t put Mommy in that hole,” shouted little Charlie. “Pleeeaaase, don’t put Mommy in that hole. It’s cold and dark in there. Seaaan, please stop them. Please Sean don’t let them put Mommy in that hole.”

The cries of the little boy made Sean shiver. They followed him wherever he went.

The Price of Freedom!

Freedom, I gave you my mommy,

You gave me a neatly folded flag.

Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, you took my mommy’s courageous heart,

You gave me a few well-chosen words.

Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, you took the love of my life,

You paid me with a medal on a blue ribbon with thirteen white stars.

Oh, what a trade!

They played taps and lowered her body into a cold grave,

Oh, what a price to pay for freedom.

They called her a fallen hero,

They called me the fallen hero’s son,

Oh, what a price to pay for freedom!

Al Lohn


1 thought on “THE PRICE OF FREEDOM

  1. Pingback: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM | allohnauthor

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