Newlyweds In Love And The Freedom To Fly The Stars and Stripes
Growing up, they were school mates and neighbors for many years… they were the boy and girl next door. When her parent’s divorce split up the family, Lynn moved away. As life has a tendency to do, Dan and Lynn lost
touch of each other, though as children they were best friends. It never occurred to them that after many years, their paths would cross again, and this time they would become Mr. and Mrs.. A classic love story indeed and a beautiful illustration of newlyweds in love.
…it’s how they were brought together again that is tantalizing!
Some twenty years later, whether a mere coincidence, or fate or pure luck, call it what you wish, they ran into each other… initially they didn’t recognize one another. Nonetheless there was a certain sense of familiarity between them.
Dan and Lynn were now grown up and neither married nor seeing anyone.
Unbeknownst to each other, they had followed nearly the same path for their lives both enlisted in the U.S. Military…
Today, they found themselves in the emergency room. He had an injury to his foot and she had an injury to the elbow.
Thus, the magical moment when their eyes met, the frown on their faces from the pain in their bodies suddenly turned into a smile. It could not have happened any better had it been planned…as if it had been perfectly choreographed.
In an instant, their physical pain, simply evaporated, disappeared, gone, overshadowed by the excitement of their encounter! Or maybe they had subconsciously refocused their physical pain into positive energy at the sight of each other.
Still, it was a bit of an awkward moment, wondering whether to make the first move or not…
They hesitated, perhaps because of fear of rejection or disappointment… they had no idea what to expect…
Desiring to draw near each other, yet giving in to indecision…they glanced and observed each other, strategizing how to make the first move…
In a split second, Lynn caught Dan watching her out of the corner of his eye while pretending to read a magazine. It was the impetus he needed to finally walk over to her.
The minute he got up from his chair, the burning pain in his foot shot up his spine causing him to misstep. It was painful and he even felt a bit embarrassed, as he nearly fell just taking a few steps to get to Lynn.
But, he was determined to find out the identity of this girl that looked so familiar, yet, unknown.
Just then, Lynn likewise attempted to walk over to him and as she reached out to keep him from stumbling, she blurted, “do I know you? You look so familiar?”
Like a nervous teenager who got caught peeking, he uttered, “I’m sorry, I…I…I was just thinking the same thing” as he gazed into her eyes.
“Dan,” she interrupted, “it’s me, Lynn.”
They bursted into laughter and hugged each other… there was even a tear of joy rolling down Lynn’s face.
They talked for hours about their travels, their military careers…
It was clear that at times, thousands of miles had separated them…Dan in one part of the world and Lynn in another… full circle to rendez vous here today…gleeful fascination filled their hearts, the right place and the right time was now!
Seeing each other and…
…finding each other was more then the highlight of their day, it was pure joy, their Christmas in the summer!
And guess what? They married and lived happily ever after…
Ooh, that’s sweet! But, wait… Shortly after they married…
They saw a house that had a“for sale” sign on the front yard.
Enchanted by their love for each other, Dan and Lynn quickly made an offer on the house. When you’re newlyweds, happy and in love, the world is your oyster!
The next day, Lynn received a phone call, their offer to buy had been accepted; she jumped up and down upon hearing the good news… thrilled with excitement!
Naturally, that afternoon, they went back to take another look at their future home.
As they drove into the subdivision, they noticed one flag pole, a second flag pole, but no American flags!
No Stars and Stripes anywhere?
There was a flag on the inside of someone’s front window, but it was some other flag.
The atmosphere felt stagnant and stale…why all the bare flag poles, they wondered? It was as if they were looking at a shadow of what used to be.
You know what I mean?
Have you ever seen a flag pole without a flag? It just doesn’t look right.
There is a certain beauty and vibrancy when you see the Stars and Stripes…
…waving in the air on a beautiful sunshiny day and the temperature is just right, no heat, no cold, no humidity, just pleasant enjoyable weather.
A gentle mild breeze that makes you want to be outdoors playing baseball, on a bike ride, hiking or rowing your canoe on a lazy river!
You see, for Dan and Lynn it’s just part of who they are…they are Americans.
And they proudly and unselfishly serve in the military to make things better for themselves and for others, duty and commitment to the country they love.
When Dan and Lynn put on their…
U.S. Military service dress uniforms, they embody the principles of the American flag which are Love of God, Upholding the Rule of Law and Constitutional Freedoms
This is what the American flag represents and it’s why Dan and Lynn appreciate the blessing of being American!
And it’s why they serve.
Both have traveled to other parts of the world, tasted other cultures and foods, seen the poverty and disparities of other people…the injustice and corruption from top to bottom and bottom to top…
Of course in the United States they can see that the streets are not made out of gold, and that the United States is not an utopian nation…
A country consists of its people…people are imperfect, as long as that is the case, no country will ever be perfect in this realm of existence.
But it’s the American people, our forefathers who came before us, our military and the Christian principle of faith in God, the ideals of honesty, a strong work ethic, honor, respect that have made the USA what it is!
That’s why after having traveled extensively, there is still no country that Dan and Lynn would rather come home to or call home other than the U.S.A..
They pulled into the driveway of their future home, the owner was outside mowing the front yard.
As they exited their car, it startled him a bit…Dan and Lynn were a strikingly attractive All American couple with magnetic personalities!
He invited them into the house for a nice cold lemonade and why not? A contract to purchase the home now existed between them and they wanted to take another look at the house.
But, it was what they learned from the discussion that gave them pause for thought.
The owner expressed his disappointment with the militant HOA that has no respect for the American flag or allegiance to our country.
It was clear the owner was tired of trying to reason and deal with the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) and the “power” the association seemed to wield.
Until then, Dan and Lynn didn’t realize and no one had advised them that the single family home was part of an HOA. Like many first time home buyers, Dan and Lynn knew little about HOAs, but they quickly learned that HOAs dictate the rules and whims for the rest of the owners.
When you purchase property in subdivisions that are controlled by Homeowner Associations (HOAs) …
be it a condo, townhome or even a single family home, the owner:
- becomes a mandatory member of that HOA; and
- becomes obligated to pay the HOA dues; and must obey the HOA rules.
In this case, the association ordered the owners to take down the American flags from the front and back yards of their homes. As a result, most of the patriotic American owners in the community had been moving out in droves.
Because HOAs are structured as corporations or associations, they are supposedly governed by Federal and state statutes and the association’s own rules and bylaws. This means that the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, (Source: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr42/text), kicks in…
The American Flag Act (“the Act”) gives an owner the right to display the US flag on his property. Consequently, under the Act, owners automatically have a right to display the American flag.
However, the Act, also gives an association the right to tell the owner when and how to display the flag.
As you can imagine this creates fertile ground for disagreements…the stuff that lawyers thrive upon.
That’s why before you purchase a home with a HOA…
…consider carefully the risks and benefits of binding yourself to that association…
…and if you don’t have the freedom to fly the American flag it’s best to shake the dust of your shoes and walk away.
Dan and Lynn have lived and worked together with other military men and women of different colors and ethnic backgrounds…
… and they have learned to trust these other men and women in the military not because they’re white/black/Hispanic/Asian, but because they are honorable and trustworthy American patriots.
The American ethos to live by…
When Dan and Lynn see the Stars and Stripes, they don’t see racism, discrimination, or slavery…they see people of different colors and ethnic backgrounds – a people “created equal” by their Creator – a brotherhood united by humanity and their love and service to the nation.
They see freedom, a strong work ethic and exceptionalism!
On their way back home, Lynn couldn’t stop thinking about all the American servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in one conflict or another fighting for the freedom of others in foreign lands.
Ironically she thought…
American patriots who live in areas that are under the control of HOAs often are denied their basic freedom to fly the American flag in front of their own homes.
Where is their freedom?
Lynn wept as she thought about the 58,318 American servicemen including eight servicewomen who were KIA during the Viet Nam war (Source:www.vvmf.org) ; and the 5391 KIA in foreign lands from 2000 through April 29, 2017 (Source: https://fas/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32492.pdf).
Dan and Lynn resolved that this was not what they were looking for in a home and were extremely grateful for the homeowner’s honesty.
As American patriots, Dan and Lynn have resolved that this will not dampen their American patriotism nor their love for each other, but rather they will continue to respect our country, our President and the American people… and more determined than ever to RESPECT and Fly the Stars and Stripes because this is our
flag and the true spirit of Americans!
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