Experience and concept by Chris, art and design by Meg (of m.ink). This piece shows Chris as an active duty Marine around 2005 and 15 years later in 2020. Chris shares his words below:
“I wish I could say
All the things that I should say
Say ’em loud, say ’em clear
For the whole round world to hear”.
“I wish you could know
What it means to be me
Then you’d see and agree
That every man should be free”.
I’m blessed to have been exposed to this song at a young age. I’m thankful to my father for that. But the lack of a sense of freedom escaped me even as a child.
There are many people that will walk up to a Veteran and give the ubiquitous and obligatory “Thank you for your service/Thank you for protecting our freedoms!”. I would like to say that’s when many in uniform start to question “what freedoms?’, and where those same freedoms went when they took that oath. For some, it was well before or so very long after. Returning home or finding a new home post service can leave a void, and there’s this burning desire to speak and be heard without fear of repercussion. Depending on your branch and unit, this could have been covert or overt. But how does one learn to speak…FREELY…when for an indeterminate length of time there was fear of retribution attached to the thought of speaking freely? What about the rest of the FREEDOMS that Veteran protected, how does one partake of this plentiful bounty? How does one partake when those freedoms were never meant for some of them to begin with? Marginalization as a basis for society only becomes harder to combat within one when its reinforced what protecting the freedoms they will never fully enjoy.