Freedom and liberty are the topics for two warriors and two civilians.
Major Stacie Shafran served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
During her Afghanistan deployment she was part of a provisional reconstruction team assigned to work with Afghan women. She shares the differences and parallels between what those women are seeking and the important reforms led by women in our own country. Stacie also reminds us to consider leaders like Abraham Lincoln who advanced our freedoms here in the US.
Colonel Lee Ellis was an Air Force pilot who spent six years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Lee reminds us that one does not miss liberty until it is taken away. “When the lock is on the outside and you don’t have the option to do simple things like walk outside and look at the stars.” He warns of the risks of taking our freedoms for granted. Lee believes one of the greatest threats to our freedom today is the absence of truth and the ‘spin” used to promote specific ideologies. We need to stand for truth, promote truth and hold our leaders accountable.
Gary recalls his first visit to the Korean demilitarized zone. No other place on earth exhibits such a palpable difference between freedom and tyranny. “We have to realize that freedom has to be fought for and protected and defended. There are many armies around the world that are there to take your freedom away and to oppress you rather than protect you like our military does.” Gary believes every citizen must recognize the importance of keeping our military strong.
Jeff Utsch is a constitutional scholar who also trains Special Forces personnel in tactical swimming.
Jeff was training a group of Special Forces when 9/11 took place and was depressed that he was the only one not deploying. Afterward, he spoke with one of his trainees and asked “What can I do?” The reply was simple; Take care of my family if I am killed and..do your best. Jeff interpreted the second statement to mean that each of us must strive to take advantage of freedoms to fully reach our individual potential. If we don’t, then we aren’t honoring the goals of the founding fathers and those who protect our liberty every day.