Freedom is not free.

USA Today’s website has a powerful story and video about USMC Cpl. Ronny “Tony” Porta that I think should be mandatory reading and viewing for every American who wants to maintain citizenship in this country.  At the age of 20, Tony was in a Humvee in Iraq that was struck by an IED.  Tony lost his two best friends and sustained severe burns over 80% of his body.  He also lost his right arm and fingers on his left hand.

According to the USA Today article, Tony has undergone 128 surgeries, many of those were to reconstruct his face which he essentially lost in the event. Surgeons rebuilt his “mouth, nose and around his left eye, removing scar tissue covering his right eye.” Still, even with extensive reconstructive work people still stare.
Marine Cpl. Ronny Porta was severely burned in May 2007 in Al Asad, Iraq, when his Humvee hit an improvised explosive device. Two other Marines died in the attack.

Photo credit: Jack Gruber/USA Today

Tony reminds those that see him and are taken aback and unsure how to react that freedom is not free.  He reminds us of the cost.  Let us never forget the cost of war – whether the wounds are visibly apparent or not – it is carried disproportionately by a very small group of men and women who willingly put their lives on the line for the ideals of the United States.

God bless you Tony Porta – your endurance and commitment to life are inspiring.  Thank you Corporal for your service, your example, and your courage.  You are remarkable.

Day one thousand three hundred and ninety-one of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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4 Responses to Freedom is not free.

  1. B-Dubya says:

    The video is so moving–I’ve had a crying jag stuck in my heart all day after watching it. He is such a sweet soft-spoken man I’d like to give him a big thank-you hug. Thank you for posting.

  2. Kaarin says:

    I agree with B-Dubya. I wish I could meet him in person to say “thank you.” God bless him and his family. What a sacrifice he has made.

  3. erik thorne says:

    How sad it was all for nothing. I wonder if Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Perth, Rove, or the rest of the cabal said they were sorry?

  4. Elaine Tennimon says:

    Tony
    I feel like saying “thank you” for your service is not enough, but I will say it anyway, THANK YOU !!! and God bless you always, you are a remarkable person, wish you didn’t live so far away, would love to have you as a neighbor/friend.
    Take care, ETennimon( my husband was an Army Helicopter pilot and was killed in 1973.)

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