"Freedom isn't free"

On November 5th, 1972 my uncle, Sergeant Steven L. Taylor of the United States Army was fatally wounded while serving in South Vietnam.  He was 23. See his full profile here or here.

I never had the opportunity to meet this courageous man, my dad's brother. But this past weekend did visit the Indiana War Memorial downtown where there is a display of his bravery in the Vietnam Museum.

To the right, are pictures of his display, including the flag given to his mother, a picture of him in uniform, letters from the President, and the numerous awards and medals he received for his bravery.

Saturday was such a beautiful day.  We walked around the city a bit, being silly, and then met family to tour the Memorial.

Each time I enter, my stomach feels a little sick, I get a little nervous, and deep sadness/intense fear starts to creep over me.

It's the place where you are reminded that "freedom isn't free", something easily forgotten by many as we go about our daily lives; but something that is never forgotten for those who continue to live it daily.

After making our way through the entire Museum, I found myself on the steps outside with my beautiful family...the sun shining, the sky a brilliant blue, the clouds white and fluffy, the air fresh and cool. I was so thankful...for all of it. And for the many men and women who made it possible for me to be standing there in that moment. <3

***I wrote the following poem for a high school creative writing class prompt~my found object was Steve's flag***

Flag of Courage
Written by:  Nicole McCauley Osborne

A flag of courage lies,
upon his eternal bed,
as the twenty-one gun salute
rings above their heads.

The unforeseen explosion,
took his life away.
Fighting for his country;
his life he did pay.

The war was almost over.
His term was almost done.
He would soon return home
for his country had won.

But in the darkened silence,
one calm and peaceful night,
a dreadful knock at the door
said he had died in flight.

Another purple heart,
received twice before,
symbolized his bravery
and dedication to the war.

It’s time to say good-bye;
in his bed he must stay.
They fold the flag of courage
and take him away.

My BRAVE girl!

Shout out to my teacher friends!!!