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Frank L. Hoffman Interviewed: Peacemaking
Comments by Debra L. Stitt - 21 Feb 2003
For those of you actively involved in the discussion of war, please keep in mind that it's much more than what you see on television and read in the papers. This is not a perfect world. Heck, we can't even agree on this list. There are those of us out here that have family members risking their lives to try to make the world a safer place for all of us. Do I want war? Absolutely not. And, I pray for a peaceful resolution. But, friends, if war does ensue, please stand behind those that fight for our right to disagree -- peacefully!
Please read my personal story below.
I returned from Ft. Thomas, KY, Monday evening. On February 10, 2003, Farewell celebrations were held for the Army's 478th Engineer Combat Battalion (C)(M), of which my cousin is the Command Sergeant Major. They left Fort Thomas on Monday and headed to Fort Campbell for deployment. Since David is the "big cheese," he knows where they're headed but the final destination is classified.
I'm very proud of my cousin as his career has led him to hold the highest ranked position in the Army for enlisted. He assures me that he and his troops are prepared to "take care of this mess" and return safely. However, I'm terrified. He said it's his job to get all of his men/women home safely and not to worry. He said we don't have all of the equipment and people in place to "call someone's bluff" and that they are prepared.
I don't believe anyone can fully grasp the enormity of this situation until they've looked hundreds of soldiers in the eye as they say good-bye to their loved ones -- with an M-16 over one shoulder and a spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend or child tearfully draped over the other. Men and women alike! Through the sadness of good-byes, the soldiers are in good spirits and, believe it or not, looking forward to getting down to business so that we can continue to enjoy the freedoms that most of us take for granted. They want peace!
I know Frank doesn't like it when we have attachments to our E-mails but I believe this is special. I've attached a "virus-free" picture of my cousin as we get a few final moments together before he's whisked away. The flag was his idea -- an unspoken statement! A gentle arm around my shoulder to me signifies the feelings our troops have for mankind!
Now's the time for prayers!
Debra L. Stitt
The following passage is from a sermon by John Hagee:
"I want you to close your eyes and picture in your mind the soldier at Valley Forge, as he holds his musket in his bloody hands. He stands barefoot in the snow, starved from lack of food, wounded from months of battle and emotionally scarred from the eternity away from his family surrounded by nothing but death and carnage of war. He stands though, with fire in his eyes and victory on his breath. He looks at us now in anger and disgust and tells us this...
I gave you a birthright of freedom born in the Constitution and now your children graduate too illiterate to read it.
I fought in the snow barefoot to give you the freedom to vote and you stay at home because it rains.
I left my family destitute to give you the freedom of speech and you remain silent on critical issues, because it might be bad for business.
I orphaned my children to give you a government to serve you and it has stolen democracy from the people.
It's the soldier, not the reporter who gives you the freedom of the press.
It's the soldier, not the poet who gives you the freedom of speech.
It's the soldier, not the campus organizer who allows you to demonstrate.
It's the soldier, who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!
Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen."
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our U.S. forces all around the world.
Of all the gifts you could give a U.S. Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, or Coast Guardsman, Prayer is the very best one.....
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