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Chuck Holton: 'Don't You Understand How Valuable This Freedom Is?'

Veteran U.S. Army Ranger Chuck Holton joined NRATV’s Stinchfield the day after Memorial Day to reflect on the noble sacrifice of his friend, Specialist Phillip S. Lear, who was killed in action during the 1990 invasion in Panama: “It really brings it home when somebody you love gives their life in battle.”

After sharing his personal story, Holton spoke to host Grant Stinchfield about the growing military-civilian disconnect, something he feels contributes to the perception that the sacrifices of those who serve are underappreciated. “I can identify with the troops that I talk to nowadays who when you ask them what the hardest thing about the job that you do—going overseas, facing your mortality on a daily basis, the hardship, the Spartan conditions, being away from your family—what’s the hardest thing about your job?” Holton said. “They say, ‘Coming home and going to the mall and seeing how clueless everybody is. Because we’ve just been going and getting a lesson on just how costly our freedoms are. And when you come home and you see how cheaply people treat them, it makes you resent that.’”

Holton, who spent 8 years in the Army, agreed that too often, Americans take for granted the freedoms that they have been afforded. “I felt the same way when I got back,” he said. “I just wanted to scream at people, ‘Don’t you understand how valuable this freedom is? And you do nothing but sit on it and watch T.V,’” Holton said. “And I still feel that way sometimes when I think back to Lear and the brotherhood that he and I shared and so many more who have given their lives since then.” 

Over time, it is important to never let Memorial Day lose its meaning. Rather, it should stand as an everlasting acknowledgment of those who served.

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