by: MSG Mitchell, Afghanistan, 2010

Actually, my story is not a very inspiring one and the event that happened to my wife makes me believe she is not the only spouse it’s ever happened to.

The Blue Star Flag or Banner displays the honor of having a loved one in the household sacrificing his or her life to protect all who sees it being displayed in a window or flying in the breeze on the front porch. It also displays sadly to say a sign to others that the man of the house is away.

I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 and my wife was a very proud recipient of the Blue Star Banner and displayed it proudly in our front living room window. Half way through my deployment my wife decided that having the extra money coming in was an excellent opportunity to put a new roof on the house.

After several contractors commented on the Blue Star Banner, the roofing bids started coming in and at a very high rate in price, according to friends and family. After my wife had chosen a contractor the material was purchased and the contractor was paid to do the job. After several weeks to do a single story ranch with a carport extension, the contractor packed up his tools and left. My wife just assuming that the job had been finished just went on doing her daily schedule till days after doing some work outside looked up at the roof to notice that ¾ of the roof had only been completed leaving half of the carport extension, the worse portion of roof on the whole house had been left uncompleted. After several attempts to contact the contractor and several calls to different agencies my wife was still left without a completed roof. 7 years later I am now on my second deployment to Afghanistan but this time my old Blue Star Banner is displaying proudly in my family room where it has hung since my return in 2003.

It’s a total sham that this Banner, a banner of pride that has been displayed since 1917 to honor the service Men and Women of this great Nation, a Banner that was displayed in my Grammas’ house for my Dad in World War Two and displayed for my Brother in my Mom’s house during Vietnam is now being used as an indicator to others as a chance to jack up prices and to take advantage of our wife’s as we are deployed protecting and giving these same contractors the freedom all Americans deserve.

I don’t expect to win this contest nor am I looking for remorse. I am a proud American Soldier who has put his life on the line just as others have for over 300 years and who has displayed the Blue Star Banner with pride to just have my trust in the people I protect taking away from me.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving the Soldier’s families an opportunity to win and display a piece of American history that hold so much honor for all who are deployed in this time of war, for all to remember the Men and Women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in so many wars before us, their lives.
V/R
MSG Mitchell
Afghanistan, 2010

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