Freedom Isn’t Free
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young soldier saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, Freedom is not free.I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, Freedom isn’t free.
The United States Soldiers from United States Territory of Guam , the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and from the various Governments in Micronesia who have given their lives in the Iraqi Conflict:
U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Jude Rivera Wesley, 26, was killed when the Stryker infantry carrier he was in rolled into a canal on Dec. 8, 2003, in Iraq.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Aguon Vega, 42, a Guam native, died March 20, 2004, after he sustained injuries from a roadside blast in Iraq.
U.S. Army Sgt. Yihjyh “Eddie” Lang Chen, 31, of Saipan was killed in Iraq April 4, 2004, when his unit was attacked.
U.S. Marine Cpl. JayGee Meluat, 24, a native of Palau, was killed by enemy fire in Al-Anbar province, Iraq, Sept. 13, 2004.
U.S. Army Sgt. Skipper Soram, 23, from Kolonia, in the FSM state of Pohnpei, died after an explosion occurred near his security post in Iraq on Sept. 22, 2004.
Ferdinand Ibabao, an employee of DynCorp security company, was killed in an explosion in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 14, 2004. Ibabao had been a Guam police officer. He was 36.
U.S. Army Spc. Jonathan Pangelinan Santos, a former Santa Rita resident, was killed in Karabilah, Iraq, on Oct. 15, 2004, when his vehicle hit a land mine. He was 22.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Steven Bayow, 42, a Yap native, was one of two soldiers killed Feb. 2, 2005, in Bayji, Iraq, when a bomb hit their vehicle.
U.S. Army Spc. Derence Jack, 31, of Saipan was killed Oct. 30, 2005, in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq.
U.S. Army Sgt. Wilgene Lieto, 28, of Saipan was killed Oct. 30, 2005, in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq.
U.S. Army Spc. Richard DeGracia Naputi Jr., 24, of Talofofo was killed Dec. 21, 2005, in Iraq, when a homemade bomb detonated during combat operations.
U.S. Army Pfc. Kasper Allen Camacho Dudkiewicz, 23, of Chalan Pago was killed Jan. 15, 2006, in Mosul, Iraq, when the Humvee in which he was the gunner was involved in a vehicle collision.
U.S. Army Pfc. Henry Paul, 24, of Kolonia, in the FSM state of Pohnpei, and another soldier died Sept. 26, 2006, in Baghdad of injuries sustained when their M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over.
U.S. Army Sgt. Jesse Castro, 22, a Guam native, was one of five soldiers killed Dec. 6, 2006, when a roadside explosion destroyed their Humvee in Kirkuk Province in Iraq.
U.S. Marine Cpl. Adam Quitugua Emul, 20, from Tanapag, Saipan, was killed in action while conducting combat operations in Iraq’s Al-Anbar province on Jan. 29, 2007.
U.S. Army Cpl. Lee Roy Apatang Camacho, 27, from Saipan died of wounds he sustained from an explosion Feb. 9, 2007, in Baqoubah, Iraq.
Guam Army National Guard Sgt. Gregory D. Fejeran was killed in Ethiopia on March 6, 2007, when the vehicle he was in rolled over. He was 28.
Guam Army National Guard Sgt. Christopher Fernandez was killed in Ethiopia on March 6, 2007, when the vehicle he was in rolled over. He was 28.
U.S. Army Spc. John D. Flores, 21, of Barrigada, was one of two soldiers killed May 3, 2007, when their unit came under attack by enemy fire in Baghdad.
U.S. Army Pfc. Victor Michael Fontanilla, 23, was killed in a bomb blast in Iraq on May 17, 2007.
U.S. Army Sgt. Iosiwo Uruo died on May 24, 2007, in Buhriz, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his unit came under attack from enemy forces using small arms fire. He was 27.
U.S. Army Cpl. Meresebang Ngiraked, 21, of Koror, Palau, died June 10, 2007, from injuries he sustained from a vehicle-based improvised explosive device in Karbala, Iraq.
Army Pfc. Jose Charfauros Jr., 33, of Rota was one of 14 soldiers killed in a single day in Iraq.
Army Maj. Henry Ofeciar died on Aug. 27, 2007, when enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades attacked his unit in Afghanistan. He was 37.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Gamboa of the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, from Merizo died March 25 in Iraq from injuries sustained when he came under indirect fire. He was 34.
Christopher Albert Quitugua died June 19 in Iraq after the vehicle he was riding in flipped after a tire blowout. He was 28.
Sgt. Brian S. Leon Guerrero was killed July 10 in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was in hit an improvised explosive device. He was 34.
Spc. Samson A. Mora was killed July 10 in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was in hit an improvised explosive devicse. He was 28.