Freedom has to be felt, and sometimes it can just be a day of fun.

Living with Sacrifice What Independence Day means to soldiers and their families
Wednesday, August 09, 2017 - 15:59

You know what most army kids remember about Independence Day? That the soldier in their family – father or mother – was never really around.

For families of soldiers, Independence Day is a day espousing patriotism and duty. But the day is also an emotional reminder of the sacrifices which come along with it. When the entire country is home celebrating Independence with family, shielded from external threats, the soldier is away from family, defending the country at its frontiers.

“I remember my father being away most of the time, either for some training exercise or being posted in the forward areas,” says Harpreet, a media professional in his mid-30s whose father served in the Indian Army. “The day was indeed about patriotism and duty. I remember that we would get together and listen to the PM's speech on TV, and attend the events organised. But what I do remember was that my father was away most of the time.”

For Hyderabad-based Shruti too, whose father was in the Indian Navy, the day was usually a ‘holiday without dad’. “As kids we participated in school events, but as we grew up we became lazy and it was just a holiday. My dad, if he was around, was very patriotic and he would put up flags and participate in events, always. He was not very strict with us though,” she says, fondly looking back at the few moments they had with each other.

What runs as an undercurrent to the experiences of being a soldier or a member of a defence family is - sacrifice. They cannot live in the same city for more than a couple of years, or have friends who are ‘forever’. They cannot have the ‘typical’ family life. Of course, there are perks to being an army kid, there are privileges and experiences which they get and most others don’t. But whatever the perks may be, growing up with a parent being away always is not easy. But families of the Indian Armed Forces deal with it by holding on to each other and living with it.

And on Independence Day, what is being is celebrated is exactly what an army kid misses – freedom, the freedom to be with their parent and not be bothered about anything else.

Freedom means different things for different people, and for a soldier or her family, freedom could simply mean getting together as a family and heading out for a day of fun and thrill, leaving the toughness of the defence life behind.

Wonderla understands that. And it is with that patriotic emotion in mind, that across its theme parks in Kochi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Wonderla will offer Free Entry to members of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy & Airforce) and Border Security Forces, along with a 10% discount for their friends and family (max 5 guests). The offer is valid between August 12 and August 20. If you are a soldier or member of a defence family, this is the day you can get together and celebrate freedom with an adrenaline rush. Know more about the offer HERE.

If you are not a soldier or from a defence family – here is how you can make the day better for your friends who are in armed forces families.

They are running a Refer a Friend Contest. To the post below, tag as many friends from the Indian Armed Forces as you can in the comments section. The top two persons who have tagged the maximum number of friends from the Indian Armed Forces to the post below will get a free Wonderpass each! Gold Card for the first prize, and Blue Card for the second. So, come on, tag away!

This has been produced by TNM Marquee in association with Wonderla