Tim Weidlich column: Freedom worth fighting for

Tim Weidlich

The first church I pastored was in Laurel, Montana. It is a small town of 7,000 whose highlight of the year was the Fourth of July fireworks. The volunteer fire department would collect money through the year for this Shock and Awe fireworks show where sometimes 50,000 people would come to watch.

When I came to the VA as a chaplain in 2018, I discovered that the holidays we celebrate to honor the sacrifice and service of our veterans where not celebrated but avoided by many vets.

The fireworks triggered memories of the sounds of war. Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day when a nation thanks veterans for their service remind them of the acts they did or witnessed that they are working hard to forget.

As I listen to the stories of veterans in the hospital or going to counselling, I discovered that we are sending our young people, usually 17-18 years old, to go fight for our freedom, only to come home to an internal war for personal freedom.

I visited a Vietnam veteran in the hospital who had just received the news from

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