Monday, March 15, 2010

The Price of Freedom


Since September 11, 2001, I have lowered the flag in my front yard on numerous occasions to honor the sacrifice of a soldier, sailor, marine, or airman who had recently paid the utmost price for my freedom. In each instance I have said a prayer for the family of the departed hero as my flag lowered to honor their sacrifice. During the official period of mourning, the sight of my half-masted flag was a quiet and eloquent reminder of the fact that "Freedom Isn't Free".

On Friday night I went out to my flagpole and, once again, lowered my flag to half mast. But the prayer I offered that night was for my own family this time. Earlier that day my cousin, SFC Glen Jacob Whetten, joined the ranks of those who have given the last full measure of devotion for their country.

The flag in my front yard flies at half mast, and I see Jake now every time I pass it. When the official word gets out and flags across the state lower to half mast, I will see Jake. And I will cry. I am more intimately acquainted with the price of my freedom now. The Hall of Heroes is no longer a nameless, faceless group of men and women from ages past. It now has the name and face of someone I know and love, someone I looked up to and prayed for.

SFC Glen Jacob Whetten, United States Army
March 19, 1978 - March 12, 2010
Operation Enduring Freedom

3 comments:

ajwhet10 said...

Pablo, mil gracias for the respect, love, and service you have given our family. The flags that flew over the U.S. Capitol in Jake's memory have arrived and have been lovingly shared and thankfully received. The Patriot Guard rode beside Jake's body from Luke AFB to the mortuary in Mesa, from the mortuary to the church for the funeral, and finally to the cemetery. These kind and dignified individuals expressed such caring, and made us feel that we had a share in the honor that was given to Jake. Megan was privileged to receive her American Flag at the hands of the general who presided over the military graveside service. These are among the many sweet and priceless memories that we cherish. Thank you!

Melinda said...

YEs, Thank You Paul! You are a great cousin. Thanks for your post honoring Jake and all the other soldiers who sacrificed it all! Love ya

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Paul, that is a beautiful graphic of Jake. I'm thinking about you guys. Thanks for the heartfelt post.

Jen in Mexico