Fair Winds…

This is the tenth annual Cost of Freedom Weekend at the Army~Navy game and we have selected a theme of "Freedom Matters." This weekend is one in which we honor several Marines and Soldiers, and their family/friend guests, in a very unique and memorable manner.

Since our venue is near Valley Forge where our first president, George Washington, camped and trained his army, I wanted to see what he thought about the importance of freedom. A quote attributed to George Washington is: "The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people." Freedom Matters!

There are three types of freedoms, and I believe they are important to all of us. POLITICAL FREEDOMS are represented in our form of government, the U.S. laws and accountability of U.S. citizens, and our democratic right to vote in elections. ECONOMIC FREEDOMS enable each of us to work in our chosen profession or occupation, and to own and exchange goods and services. PERSONAL FREEDOMS are our own set of individual rights, the ability to make decisions about our lives, the ability to express opinions freely, and all that is represented in our family lives. These Freedoms Matter!

Warren Buffet said that "Price is what you pay; Value is what you get." All veterans know that they as military service members, and we as a country, pay a very high price defending and preserving our freedoms. This high price does result in high value freedoms being endowed upon all American citizens. From the price that is paid, it follows that Freedom Matters!

Our country was founded by people who sought freedom. As a nation we have responsibility to maintain our freedoms, defend our borders and interests, and ensure that our children and grandchildren can do the same without a huge burden of fiscal debt. More so now than in recent times, our nation needs to continue the fight for the safety of its citizens and for their freedom. Many people today take our freedom for granted, and many people think freedom is free. Our honored veterans and their families know all too well that there is a tremendous personal cost for those who have served or who have suffered wounds in defense of our country and our freedoms. We offer a heartfelt THANK YOU for all you have done and hope your time with us makes a lasting difference in your lives.

The primary mission of Cost of Freedom is to benefit certain chosen military veterans in a manner that "gives back" to these heroes who have given so much to protect, defend and preserve the freedom of the United States and its citizens. We are very thrilled to have you participate this weekend.

We USNA ’72 classmates have forged a bond that has continually been reinforced over all these years. Each of us feels privileged to get to know our honored servicemen and servicewomen this weekend, and to join them as we celebrate the meaning of this Cost of Freedom Weekend. I must conclude with two words that those of us wearing the Blue and Gold have articulated many times.

BEAT ARMY!!

— Ron Stowell