What sacrifice means to me

Taylor Barlett, Special Contributor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

When looking at the word sacrifice in the dictionary, you might read a definition such as, “to give up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations.” Many people use sacrifice when talking about a compromise in a relationship or even weekend plans, but only a few people know what true sacrifice really looks like.

You may be thinking that true sacrifice means giving your life for a cause, but to me, it’s more than that. Sacrifice means giving up time with your family, comfort, and daily luxuries over and over for something you believe in. I believe that our soldiers overseas make sacrifices every day for this amazing country to be forever free.

I am not going to pretend that I know what true sacrifice feels like. I have grown up in a home with a loving family, great friends, and good grades. I live in a nice house, get to drive my truck to school, and always have food on my table.

Both of my grandfathers and my dad served in the military and they luckily all made it home safely to tell their stories. Sometimes I don’t appreciate this life as much as I should. I forget who has to make sacrifices in order for me to live the way that I do.

Some countries don’t have the rights that Americans take for granted such as freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and women’s rights. The men and women serving our country give up so much in order for us to have these simple rights.

They surrender the comfort of their home, time with family, and some even give their lives for the American Dream. It seems crazy that someone would give up such basic luxuries for anything, but that is why only the bravest, most selfless people join The United States Military.

At every sporting event I participate in, I can look up in the stands and see my parents. Military parents may not be able to make it to every ball game or PTC meeting. To miss watching your children grow up seems unbearable, but it’s a sacrifice soldiers are willing to make if it means that we can be free.

If I had to live away from my family, only able to talk to them through a phone, it would be excruciating. Soldiers have to miss holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays but that doesn’t stop them from doing what they know is right.

There is another group of people that make a great sacrifice for our country. The families of the soldiers overseas sacrifice time with loved ones knowing that they are making a difference. I can’t imagine not having my parents with me to celebrate my birthday or just to have simple conversations with in the evening.

Growing up without a parent can change a child’s life forever, but if the parent is defending the freedom of America, it gives the family pride for their country. The empty space at the dinner table can never be filled. The missing parent on Christmas won’t feel normal. However, the feeling of pride when The Star Spangled Banner plays will make everything better, if only for a short time.

Sacrifice can come in many forms. From sacrificing an hour to babysit your little sister, to sacrificing your life for your country. For me, sacrifice in its truest form comes from American soldiers and their families giving up time together and comfort for the benefit of this country.

Soldiers who go into battle fighting for freedom, knowing they might not return, deserve endless honor. I could never begin to express how sincerely thankful I am for each and every soldier that fights for my right to live in comfort and freedom every day.