Freedom Isn't Free

December 17, 2009
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Born in Oregon, in 1950, my grandfather has helped touch the lives of many. He is six feet, three inches tall, and bald. He served in the in the Air Force for four years, during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, and Korea. While there, he worked on the navigation and communication equipment aboard aircraft. He now travels the country, thanking our troops. These are just some examples of why he is my hero. He is courageous, hardworking, and compassionate, which is why he is my hero.

My grandfather is one of the most courageous people I know. Like the great Odysseus, he went to a foreign land to serve his country. Even though he wasn’t directly in the line of fire, there was still a greater risk of being hurt overseas rather than being in America. The enemy troops were not the only people against the soldiers, the American people also were against them. They would protest the soldiers, sometimes being as bad as the enemy. “There was so much misunderstanding that it sometimes became disturbing,” was his response to the behavior of some Americans.
After returning from serving his country, he still had a great desire to continue to support patriotism. He wanted to say thanks to all who served, or are serving, this country; therefore, he created his car, the Freedom PT. It is a PT Cruiser, but with a very special paintjob. On his car, there is an American flag draping across the hood and down both sides of the car. On the rear is the flag on Iwo Jima and the Vietnam War Memorial Reflections scenes. On the hood is the New York skyline at night with the twin towers ghosted in (meaning they disappear as the light outside goes down). As an extra touch, there are eagles flying on the sides. He goes around the country to car shows, showing off his car, and making people aware of what the troops give each and every day to allow us to have our freedoms. While at these shows, he also sells shirts, which he designed himself. All of the profit from these shirts goes to the family of a soldier killed in duty during the Iraq war.
To achieve all of this, he had to be extremely hard working. He actually signed up for the Air Force before graduating from high school. He stayed throughout the Vietnam War, until he was honorably discharged. He then worked for 35 years at a medical diagnostics company, and raised two kids, one being my father. “While in the armed forces, you don’t think of the consequences, you just do,” he told me when I asked about the tough times he faced.
I hope, as I grow up, that I become like my grandfather, hardworking, compassionate, and courageous. I believe that these are some of the most important traits a person can possess. If everyone were to follow his example, the world would be better than it is today. My grandfather has made me appreciate all that the soldiers have done and are doing for us and America, and he motivates me to do more to help them. I hope with the effort from America, that everyone that has served our country, like my grandfather, returns home safely, and is welcomed.

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