We welcome you to "make a difference" in the lives of our returning Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen – those that gave to defend our borders and to protect our nation’s greatest treasure – freedom.

Freedom is not free – ask those that have honorably served our great nation! The wounds of war never truly heal, but they can endure to give special meaning to everything you do.

It all started back in 2004, when four 1972 classmates from the Naval Academy's 27th Company, after struggling for years to find good seats below the upper edge of the upper decks of the Army-Navy game, were united in a 50 yard line skybox suite built for royalty. Thank you Paul Huck! Even our wives loved us again and remarked how Army-Navy games are such a great place to be. Totally brimming with our new found fortune and desire to make this our legacy, the guilt associated with "why us?" took over and our "plebian heritage" demanded that we celebrate a life more Spartan, typical military…

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To recognize and honor military veterans and their families; To honor veterans that have been wounded or injured in the line of combat; To educate the community regarding the personal cost to military veterans and their families as a direct result of service to country; and to educate the community with respect to core military values such as honor, courage, commitment, sacrifice, respect, and valor.

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We have celebrated ten years of Cost of Freedom weekends, the purpose being to honor our returning Service Men and Women from Iraq and Afghanistan, and to keep the memory alive of those who did not return. Together we acknowledge "all gave some, but some gave all." We owe it to the generations that succeed us to keep their memory alive. There is truth to the adage a Soldier is not dead until he is forgotten…

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The crucible of plebe year at the Naval Academy has been a bonding experience for many of our classmates. Difficult obstacles that need to be overcome, and required teamwork, can eventually make us stronger, similar to the tempering of steel. Hardships strengthen rather than weaken a man of character. Looking back in history, serving together on the USS Constitution, Oliver Hazard Perry and Lt James Lawrence became fast friends…

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The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are. The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission. —John F. Kennedy