Independence Day is a celebration of freedom, and the independence that allows us to live our lives without repression and persecution for our beliefs. It is the freedom that affords us the day-to-day joys of living, and even the ability for me to write this column - the freedoms that are provided by our Constitution and we are born with the right to possess.
That kind of freedom doesn't come without a price - and for many it is a hefty one: their very lives. As a 34-year Navy veteran who fought in the Vietnam War, I have known too many who have given this sacrifice. I have met the valor that has and continues to protect our free nation. As we take this holiday to celebrate our country's founding tenants of freedom and independence, let's not forget those names and faces - whether we know them or not - who have served in the name of freedom to maintain those rights for us.
That sacrifice goes beyond those veterans who fight to keep us free - it is also made by families not only affected by the death of a service member but also by the impact of their family member serving our country. During a deployment, spouses left at home must keep the family going as normal as possible. This means serving as both mother and father. Children must endure the absence of a parent for extended periods.
As we gather for barbecues and fireworks this weekend, let's reflect and honor those who have served their country - and their families back home. Independence is a virtue that our proud soldiers will always protect, for our families, and our future.
John Sentz, Gilbert Town Council member
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