Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

  1. #1
    Veteran Member wr7476's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th December 2011
    Location
    Taos, NM
    Posts
    535

    Default FREEDOM ISN"T 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.
    Last edited by Islander; 07-13-16 at 07:29 AM.
    “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
    ~ Mark Twain~

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    19,813

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    That's very moving, WR. It reminds me of one of my favorite poems on the subject, one I taught to my literature classes year after year.

    Dulce et Decorum Est
    Wilfred Owen

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
    Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

    In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.



    Notes:
    Latin phrase is from the Roman poet Horace: “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.”
    Five-Nines - 5.9 calibre explosive shells
    Helmets - the early name for gas masks
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member wr7476's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th December 2011
    Location
    Taos, NM
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    I have read it three times so far Islander, and I really like it. I was a science major in college, and I hated literature. Now, science annoys me, and Greek mythology is my current thing. Before that, I was into a little bout with Chinese philosophy. I wonder what happened? I appreciate the notes, although I could almost make out the Latin, and I don't understand the "Five-Nines". I think I'll go back and read it some more. I think I'm almost there. I mean actually there.
    Last edited by wr7476; 07-09-16 at 02:16 AM.
    “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
    ~ Mark Twain~

  4. #4
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    19,813

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    Powerful imagery, powerful message, isn't it? Rarely does a combatant return from war undamaged.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  5. #5
    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    18th April 2011
    Location
    Roleystone, Western Australia
    Posts
    6,287

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    I didn't discover Wilfred Owen till I was a mature age student in my 40's. I find his poetry incredibly moving.

    On war: I read Ben Fountain's Billy Lynne's Long Half Time Walk" a couple of years ago, a satirical book on the Iraq war. Wonderful! I lent it to my son who loved it - he tells me it is being made into a film.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...ountain-review
    Last edited by Julieanne; 07-09-16 at 08:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member wr7476's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th December 2011
    Location
    Taos, NM
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    Islander, when you say that rarely does a combatant return from war undamaged, a visit to your local VA hospital will prove that to be true. I'm kind of used to it now, after so many visits, but the first few were kind of traumatic. There were so many messed up veterans, I would lose my appetite for days. The 12 poorly placed screws in my neck didn't seem to hurt as bad anymore, compared to the many, many that were worse off than me. The military does not recognize me as a combat veteran, and therefore, I am not entitled to any disability pension. I was not involved in a recognized war during my enlistment.
    I was, however, a highly trained avionics technician. My title was "Integrated Communications, Navigations, and Penetrations Aids Systems Specialist. I worked on the electronics that kept the FB-111 nuclear bomber from being shot down by the most sophisticated anti-aircraft reconnaissance any country possessed. During my time in service, we had two critical conditions called EWO-GOs (short for Emergency War Operations, Go [Launch]. Even though we actually launched two different times, luckily, we didn't go through with deployment. We had always had games of "chicken" to see who blink first, but never like the Autumn of 1983. This was a time very few Americans had any idea that total annihilation was so imminent. It had to do with a false radar image painted on Russian radar in September, and the Grenada invasion in October.
    I can't describe from dictionary words, my thoughts every time we launched. We're about to turn that target into glass, along with millions. Millions of people I've never met. And in a few more minutes, I might see a big white flash, and I will be a shadow on the ground. Now for the story that explains why we are all still here, and I was there for all Americans that night. It's rumored that Petrov called our base commander to find our status, and he was advised we had launched in response to their light up, but had not yet deployed. I'll never know if that influenced Petrov's life-saving decision.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-24280831
    “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
    ~ Mark Twain~

  7. #7
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    19,813

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    WR, thank you for posting that very sobering story. I had no idea that we had once come a hair's breadth from total nuclear annihilation.

    Please explain the difference between "launch" and "deploy." I always thought "launch" meant "fire a missile at the enemy."

    Finally, when I say "undamaged," I mean more than physically. I am treating several patients for PTSD, but I know that many many go untreated. The two relatives who served in combat, an uncle and my brother, would not speak of it. I knew my uncle participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day only because Time magazine mentioned his name in their anniversary issue.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member wr7476's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th December 2011
    Location
    Taos, NM
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    Not just once, but twice during my service, just one month apart. The link on Petrov that you saw, happened in late September of 1983. We went EWO-GO again one month later when we attacked Grenada. It made the Russians really mad. We lit up to DEF-CON 5 immediately, and again, did a full base launch. There are too many stories on how that got settled, and our birds came back down.
    To answer your question, American "Cold War" defense was based on maintaining the perfect performance of the "TRIAD NUCLEAR SYSTEM." Proper function of this system kept us out of war by establishing the concept of "MUTUALLY ASSURED ANNIHILATION." Underground missiles made up the first part. Close proximity subs made up the second part. And supersonic jets, the FB-111 that was my responsibility, was the third part. We had constant "ORIs" (Operational readiness Inspections,) where we practiced for the real thing, including a partial launch with fake nukes. So a "LAUNCH" means that the planes get airborne, but do not leave the area. They circle above, mid-air refueling as needed, from the KC-135 tankers also stationed at the base. "DEPLOYMENT" would occur after a launch, if a decision was made to carry on as assigned. Each crew would then head out following their own individual order. Some had directives for Kiev, others for Leningrad. Yet others were ordered to Stalingrad or Moscow. Some had high altitude assignments, while others were ordered to "brush the weeds" on the way in. The FB-111 was an amazing subject of military might in my day with them. I truly believe these beautiful birds kept us out of war by demonstrating a capability that struck fear in the Politburo.


    “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
    ~ Mark Twain~

  9. #9
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    19,813

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    Very interesting...all stuff I did not know. Thanks for explaining, wr.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th August 2009
    Location
    Saint Croix
    Posts
    3,060

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    During this same period of time, in the Pacific, I was serving on a missile testing vessel, testing out the prototypes for the SPY-1 radar face and the Aegis missile control system for Tomahawks from the MK-26 and the VLS launchers. As soon as we had gotten underway for just a short distance into international waters, a Soviet AGI or AGOR would show up, following us at a certain distance, pretending to be a fishing vessel. Never did get into a shoot-em-up with one of them, but they were our ever-present companion. Interesting times!

  11. #11
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    7th May 2013
    Location
    near Boston
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    Very interesting...all stuff I did not know. Thanks for explaining, wr.
    Ditto, thanks wr.

    I was a traveling electronics technician in a previous life, and had the privilege of working on/with the hardware computerized backbone of many leading edge (at the time) elements of industry and military... Raytheon, Honeywell, MIT etc... XRays, imaging systems, detection technology for plastic explosives, it was an enlightening experience for sure. Did you know that many if not most Coke bottling plants worldwide are also breweries? World beer tasting party after work.

    Nobody has a higher appreciation for what our troops do day in day out than me. I just wish our politicians would do a better job of taking care of them, as they did us.

    PC? whats a PC? I was a mainframe guy until it became so persuasive that you couldn't ignore it. Look at us now, wireless everything.
    Last edited by Ora Moose; 07-12-16 at 01:42 AM.

  12. #12
    Veteran Member wr7476's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th December 2011
    Location
    Taos, NM
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    Interesting times indeed Maurya. People got up in the morning and enjoyed their cup of coffee, clueless to the dilemmas you and I dealt with daily, and nightly. Our military, or factions of it, might be facing dire circumstances as we speak. I feel confident in their ability to deal with such a situation so that I can have my coffee. They deserve our gratitude, as you and I know what it means to be appreciated.

    Glad to be of service and informative Islander. The critical decline of our military might is very troubling, however. Though we did manage to commission a new destroyer for the Navy recently, she broke down mid-sea on her maiden voyage. Our troops are buying their own gear, for Heaven's sake. We just can't have any more of this.
    Last edited by wr7476; 07-12-16 at 01:56 AM.
    “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
    ~ Mark Twain~

  13. #13
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    7th May 2013
    Location
    near Boston
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    Aegis, tomahawck, trident, all have memories. I mean that as in, physical computer memories that were measured in kilobytes not gigabytes, and that was my specialty. We contributed if not on the front lines but it takes all of us working. Wait, I forget.

  14. #14
    Veteran Member wr7476's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th December 2011
    Location
    Taos, NM
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    It does seem like a previous life, Ora Moose. Almost surreal. Our Techdom was courtesy of General Dynamics. Our last mod before I left the service, was an ECM- ELQ series that recorded inbound ping rates and frequency cycling from an attacking missile, analyzed the pings and frequencies, and transmitted false information at a rate matching ping rate and frequency cycles to fool the missile. Upon separation, I returned to my hometown in northern NM. A younger cousin was so excited to show me his new Commodore 64 home computer. I felt like I had travelled back in time. And nobody knows anything. Nobody looks worried. They're all just walking or driving around doing their thing. Where was I? Oh yeah, tubular tunnels, underground bunker, tv room, mess hall smells good, time for underground food, ha! Go check on hidden airplanes. Do not forget two man policy or you will be shott! Tool room duty. So weird...
    “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
    ~ Mark Twain~

  15. #15
    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
    Join Date
    2nd November 2012
    Posts
    1,957

    Default Re: FREEDOM ISN"T FREE

    [QUOTE=Ora Moose;75046]Ditto, thanks wr.

    "I was a traveling electronics technician in a previous life, and had the privilege of working on/with the hardware computerized backbone of many leading edge (at the time) elements of industry and military... " All these "war" stories are bringing back memories of also being a FCC licensed traveling electronics field tech, in a large railroad district between AZ and NM, hired by Southern Pacific RR, and then absorbed in a takeover merger by the gigantic Union Pacific RR in 11-96. I maintained part of a transcontinental microwave (MW) path district, as well as base and mobile radios, foreign exchange PBX dial and mobile telephones, and other related telecom equipment.

    But it's your mention of slow speed data that caught my attention. The backbone of our cross country MW supported 600 long distance 4 KZ analog voice/phone channels, for various uses, which included among many functions, a slow speed 4.8 kbs data system using the old IBM Total Operations Processing System (TOPS) distributed via our own long distance mainline MW path from a mainframe computer in San Francisco east to Houston, Dallas, Little Rock and many other locations inbetween. Eventually, using higher speed IBM controllers and modems, (during my tenure), the equipment was improved and made faster to 9.6 KBS...WOW WHEW! A few years before I retired, all the old Collins and Lenkurt analog 600 channel MW radios were scrapped in favor of modern day digital, data and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephone, using Nippon electronics,(NEC) digital long distance MW radios for ALL the high speed data.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOPS
    Last edited by grulla; 07-12-16 at 05:39 PM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. "Enough GMO-free soy available"
    By Islander in forum Genetic Modification
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-25-14, 09:33 PM
  2. Free online gluten "summit" in November
    By Pattypans in forum Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-03-13, 02:14 PM
  3. Petroleum Free "Vaseline"
    By mellowsong in forum DIY Recipes: Health, Hygiene, Homemaking
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-13-13, 05:32 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-10-13, 08:34 PM
  5. "Hungry for Change": free online premiere
    By Islander in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-12-12, 11:34 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
<<<<<<<< Your Customized Value <<<<<<<<