The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

A Lesson From a Soldier

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

2 February 2005

I hope you all read the letter sent to us in the early hours of the morning, February 1st, 2005 after Iraq's first election.

It is from Sgt. Joshua Law, U.S. Army, who, along with our many other soldiers, has been putting their life on the line daily to see a people come out of oppression to vote in their first election.

It is hard for us in the United States who have always had free elections since the founding of America, to know what it is like not to be able to have a say in who and how we are governed.

We sit at our coffee shops or at our breakfast tables enjoying our meals without a thought of trouble brewing.

We enjoy vacations, crossing state lines, even touring our nation's capitol in person or via the "nosey Press", but we are entertained, and we are informed.

We attend ballgames, travel to the theater, and visit relatives, no matter where they have moved.

Our fears aren't about car bombings and surgents shooting mortars and rockets. Our only thought is the high gas prices at the pump.

Thanks to our veterans, we have gained freedom.

Any enemy, who has tried to force control over the lives of others, without consent, has been heavily disciplined by the military and our justice system. It is done because freedom of choice is a basic right in America as long as it doesn't harm another person.

Others watch the USA with envy, but we Americans have gotten too comfortable with all we have.

After 911, our comfort was shaken. People moved into action. Our military grew with volunteers.

We actually started listening to our president and praying for our country and the troops, flying our flag again.

Hopefully, we will continue listening, and supporting America. Hopefully, we will learn from the Iraqi people. They didn't let fear or disgust keep them from making a choice at the polls Monday, January 31st.

Hopefully their deep desire to make their country better will inspire us to do the same. If we support the things we know are making our world better, even if we see a few flaws, America will continue in its upward growth.

The Iraqi people have a long climb a head of them, but I have a feeling they will take two steps at a time. They are hungry for freedom. It was our American government and our troops that gives them the opportunity.

We should be very proud. We owe our troops a huge "thanks" for their act of brotherhood, making a safer world.

What can we do at home? Support the Red Cross blood drive, the Salvation Army, food pantry, community clubs, and whatever is doing good for our communities.

One small community at a time makes a strong America; one small country at a time will make a stronger world.

Thanks Sgt. Law, and all the others serving in Iraq.