Tag Archives: Army

Freedom Is Not Free by Kelly Strong


Freedom Is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.

What Heroes Gave by Roger J. Robicheau



What Heroes Gave

Each donned their uniform to be

Defenders of our liberty

Their mission sure, their spirits bright

Guard freedom’s home, be brave to fight

One final day each faced their call

Each gave their best enduring all

We’ll never know what they went through

But know they loved this country true

Deep down inside we should all feel

What heroes gave, their cost so real

We must stay thankful, grateful of

The gift of freedom through their love

Their loved ones bore the gravest pain

What we can’t know, some now sustain

To God I pray their pain will cease

And each will find long-lasting peace

Remember this from year to year

What heroes gave – shan’t disappear

We’ll never let their special day

Their time for honor slip away

These brave fought for a nation free

If not for them, where would we be?

©2001Roger J. Robicheau (Sp 5, US Army)
The Poetic Plumber

It’s a hard days work!!



                  It’s a hard days work!  Or is it talent when you enjoy what you do? When I look around at my family I become amazed at the amount of talent that I am surrounded by.  In my family it is not hard to find people that put in long hours in what they have chosen to do for a living.  This begs the question, is it hard work that turns into something great or was it raw talent developed into something great by hard work?  Confused yet?


My sister-in-law has a talent we all wish we had.  She is a professional photographer and takes amazing photos of landscapes, families, and beautiful babies.   The two pictures above are attributed to her. The baby pictures she takes make you want to have newborns of your own just so she can take the pictures.  I love looking through them, they captivate me.  When her Facebook page Expressions by Andrea pops up in my news feed of a newborn baby session my husband can hear me Ooh and Ahhh and he will exclaim, “Remember we are done changing diapers!  Don’t get any ideas.”   Yeah, yeah…  Follow the link to her page and you will get lost in her baby pictures also!     🙂


             My sister can turn plain old cake into beautifully sculpted wedding cakes and not just wedding cakes but anything you can imagine for a cake.  Of course she started decorating at the age of eighteen and now many years later have perfected her craft.  She has amazed all of us on special occasions where a cake is presented.  She gets accolades every time.  I’m very proud of her and I’m always recommending her to anyone that mentions a wedding or birthday party.  The picture above is an actual wedding cake my sister has made.  I have tried my hand at this and not with success.  Of course my cakes were on a much smaller scale and probably received more snickers than accolades.


             My mother was Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart was Martha.  From yard work, garden work, canning, cooking, quilting, sewing, painting, crafts and building them from scratch with power saws she’s got that whole mother market covered.  She always had the laundry folded and put away, the fridge always cleaned out every three days and never a dish in the sink AND held down a job.  In fact she and I have had conversations on me not throwing leftovers away after her mandatory three day rule and my reply is always, “I’m just trying to build up the family’s immune system.”  I am going to have to say that these household things she kept up on so well must be a talent because she was so good at them.  They came easy to her, effortlessly.  To me these things are chores.


              My brother is a two time Iraq vet.  His braveness amazes me also, and I am a very proud sister.  He has been blessed with a great story telling ability (that I am a little jealous of). He can captivate his audience and either make us laugh or make us think deeply.  He once wrote and read a eulogy at our grandfather’s very packed funeral and had the crowd laughing one moment and tears the next.  Our grandfather would have been very proud.  He is a talented speaker even though he may not feel he is.  I am very proud of all his accomplishments in everything he has done.  Unlike my speech in tenth grade where I was reading a paper in front of the class and read the word organic and instead the word orgasm came out of my mouth.  I have been scarred ever since (and yes everyone noticed).


             Then there is my husband, well, seriously there isn’t much he can’t do, it is a blessing (yet, it can get annoying).  He can build wonderful structures from the ground up with pieces of lumber and concrete.  He can take an old home and make it new again. Broken dryer?  No problem, just flip that baby over and hand him a screw driver.  He can fix a car when it is broken (hence, why I never get a new one).  Not to mention he can sew, cook and help the kids with algebra.  Now he doesn’t do this stuff everyday but I know it is in his talent tool belt.  Or is it talent?  All the men in his family seem to have this ability dating back to his grandfather.  So, was this a skill that was taught from generation to generation or does it come naturally to want to build things.  I can tell you that our youngest son would rather have a football in his hand over a hammer and vice versa for our older son.  But could our youngest son develop this talent if he worked hard at it and do just as well?

I guess what I am trying to say is- yes, these are all talents, skill, hard work, born with… probably a mixture of all.   They took what God gave them and developed them into something greater over time, with practice.  I could go on about others in my family and my friends that have great talents but I would be writing all day.  I am surrounded by many people with lots of abilities.  We all need one another, society works because we are all different and have unique gifts to offer and it takes all kinds of developed talent to make the world work.  What would you say is your greatest talent, skill, ability, or a gift is?  How have you developed it?