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The Sounds of Freedom

For the past few years, I have dreaded the weeks surrounding the 4th of July. It was one of my favorite holidays as a kid and I always loved seeing fireworks. It also meant that my birthday was right around the corner. But after spending close to seven months in a pretty kinetic area of Afghanistan, the sounds of unexpected fireworks would launch me into a minor panic attack. As a Civil Affairs Specialist I worked alongside the Infantryman, but I never encountered a situation that put my life in danger. However, there were many, many days and nights that I was startled by the sounds of machine gun fire close by that always made my heart hurt. I would always take a minute to thank God for my life and pray he protect the lives of my brothers.

Last week, I was sitting at my desk in my home office with Dobby at my feet when I heard them. Some neighbors nearby setting off fireworks. While it caught me off guard, for the first time, I didn’t feel scared and I didn’t feel a slight panic attack. I closed my eyes for a moment and embraced the sound of the fireworks popping, never forgetting the sounds of freedom.

As you celebrate this weekend and enjoy our Nation’s Independence keep in your hearts those who fight and have fought to keep America free. Happy Independence Day!

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