The sounds of freedom sometimes come at the expense of our vets
To be clear, I’m not asking for me. The whistling mortars sometimes still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, but only very occasionally when I’m not expecting them. These days, I’m largely unfazed and, in fact, I’ve really grown to like fireworks again. The soccer team I cheer for has a big fireworks show coming up after the game in a few days, and I’ll be there, sitting on the pitch, taking it all in with my wife and daughter.
But there are many veterans among us for whom these sounds might never be anything but unsettling. For Tony and Christopher, for Cyrus and Matt, and for thousands upon thousands of others — compared to the sacrifices they’ve all made, this one seems particularly paltry.
Matthew D. LaPlante is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and an assistant professor of journalism at Utah State University. He covered military and national security issues for The Salt Lake Tribune from 2005 to 2011.