'Tis the Season
Taking notes as the holidays approach
Orale! Just like last year, let me be the first amongst my ever so talented colleagues that contribute to this renown national webpage to put out the first of many Holiday articles.
Published on LatinoLA: November 17, 2004
As the end of the year apprpoaches, we take note of what we have accomplished, what we haven't, and what we want to do next.
Tu sabes...that new car or SUV...that promotion, new job, house or apartment. Or maybe a new relationship... or maintaining old ones that almost faded away...appreciating family and friends simply because you have the freedom to call them your friends, and they have the freedom to respond in kind...having the freedom to do or not do what you want...simply because you have the freedom to choose...
...Freedom...that's where this one's going, Mi Gente!
As a U.S. Military Veteran, I appreciate the freedom that I enjoy because I, and many like and before me, took an oath...to protect freedom, with my life if neccessary, if called upon. I was called upon, and I'm back to let you know I've never regretted serving my Country. I never was, or wanted to be a politician, so those views are not in this cup. But I know what it's like to serve...
As a Chicano, I love the freedom that I enjoy because I, and many before me, took the daring approach of promoting an individual and cultural style at a time when no one else before them or among them thought it politically correct, even before the inception and acceptance of the term. I've never regretted being born BROWN...not for an instant! I can now go where my people weren't allowed to go just as recent as just 35 years ago. I'm not ever one to promote racism, so those views are not in this caldo. But I know what it's like to be discriminated against...
As a father and grandfather, I see the freedoms my children and grandchidren enjoy because of the two aforementioned groups I can claim membership in. A man can never know a greater love...nor harbor a greater responsibility.
Now, as the end of another year comes upon us, I again remind us all about the hazards of resting on laurels, lest these freedoms and those who sacrificed for them be deemed insignificant by the undeserving who benefit the most from these freedoms, yet fail to acknowlege their benefactors.
Right now, as you read this article from the comfort of your home or office, there are young men and women in uniform dying in Iraq...and your office or home is a freedom they serve to protect. As you complain about the high prices of gas & groceries, your freedom to go out & buy them wherever & whenever you want is one they are committed to protecting, and are looking forward to coming home to. For all the luxuries we take for granted, like turning on a faucet & water coming out, flicking a switch and the light comes on, being hungry and finding an all night fast food restaurant or market open, walking your kids to school and the school's open...even being in dire need and there's charitable organizations & resources available...there is a young man or woman in a dirty uniform sleeping on the ground, or in a foxhole, or under a tank with a weapon in his hands who is protecting those luxuries with his very life, who makes those luxuries possible for us to enjoy & take for granted, simply because he has the huevos to wear that uniform and carry that weapon.
Right now, there are young men in a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas, who once wore a uniform. Some of them will never see, walk or be able to feed or dress themselves again. Those who can are scarred beyond recognition. Then again, there many who never came back alive.
Many of them are Chicanos...Latinos...our people...my people. Warriors all.
This year, let's not forget those guys and gals! Let's not also forget to honor them by enjoying the freedoms they provide. Don't stay cooped up in your house feeling guilty, go out and do something! Share some love with those families who have someone serving, or worse, who have lost someone serving. They sacrificed, too!
Fly an American flag on your home. Join the many gift giving organizations that send our guys and gals a piece of home. Write letters and post cards. Send pictures and newspapers. Send music (That's me!). Support the U.S.O. Write & encourage your favorite entertainers to go overseas and put out for the troops.
Whatever your political affliliations or views, it's NEVER the soldier's fault, so don't fault him or her! They're out there for you, so what are you gonna do here for them?
This Thanksgiving, the first major Holiday of the Season, I know one of the first things I'll be thankful for, and that's for the guys & gals in uniform. Then the second, the third and so on...I guess things aren't that bad in my life afterall...and I'm one of the lucky ones...a Chicano... who came back to let you know!
...How about you?
Frankie Firme is a U.S. Marine & U.S. Army veteran, who spins the finest Chicano style Oldies but Goodies & latin Soul music on the World Wide Web every Thursday on www.kclafm.com