To Die For Someone’s Freedom

We went to the Baton Rouge airport to meet Mary Grace who was coming home from Ft. Myers. On our way up the escalator, we saw a waiting crowd in front of the arrival gate. There were: TV news crew, Boy’s Scouts and other people. I wondered who was coming. Could he be a celebrity? Maybe a government official? I got curious.

Lined up in a semi-circle, they waited. And JR and I waited along with them. Many carried balloons. Someone had a bouquet of red roses. A reporter had his pen and paper ready, with his cameraman beside him.

Some twenty minutes later, the arriving people started to come through. Suddenly, a big applause burst from the waiting crowd. I was expecting someone in a suit or a uniform with an entourage and did not see anyone. A few seconds later, a young man with a yellow LSU t-shirt and blue jeans and walking on crutches emerged. Then I realized that a “soldier” has come home! The left leg of his blue jeans was tied into a knot on the bottom part. His whole left leg was missing. I found out later that he lost it during combat in Iraq. He stayed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. for several months.

Hugs, handshakes and camera flashes followed. The TV reporter started asking questions while Lt. Jeffrey Adams, 25, of Baton Rouge answered, sometimes chuckling a bit. What a pity for a young man to lose a leg. I became quite engrossed in the crowd and the young man; I forgot all about Mary Grace, who at this time was already standing by my side.

Louisiana National Guard, Lt. Adams, was on patrol checking debris on the road when it happened.

“And the next thing I know….boom – I’m on the ground and I’m looking around kinda’ dazed and my leg wasn’t there,” he said.

While at Walter Reed, a New Jersey businessman gave Adams a ticket to attend President Bush’s inauguration. He felt very honored to have attended it.

“We fight to have this freedom and because I fought for it, now I got to see it happen and I am honored,” he said.

Lt. Adams lost a leg and was able to come home. But many of his comrades were not that lucky. Since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, we have lost over 1700 of our troops, many of them are from my state of Louisiana. They went to Iraq knowing that they might never come home, but they knew that they had to fight for the freedom of the Iraqis, and ultimately, for the freedom of the American people. Like what five year-old Kelsey Mire of Baton Rouge said when asked what she thought about her dad going to Iraq, she answered, “He’s going to Iraq to make the whole world safe.”

Everyday we hear of yet another car bombing and the loss of many lives. I can just imagine the anxiety, the stress and the fear of those with loved ones in Iraq.

To die for our freedom has been the lot of many of our brave soldiers. To die for someone else’s freedom is the ultimate sacrifice anyone can make. This Memorial Day, I salute our soldiers (past and present) for their sacrifices that America may continue to have her freedom. Let us remember all of them and their families in our prayers.

I also salute the ONE, JESUS CHRIST, Who died for you and me, so we may have the ultimate freedom – freedom from sin so we can have Eternal Life.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
(Written Memorial Day 2005)