“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
— Martin Luther King
Yesterday, as I was getting my oil changed, the attendant and I struck up a conversation. As we talked about the fluffy snow flakes that were covering the street in front us, he casually mentioned that he spent the last big Portland snow storm in Iraq.
He had been stationed in Bagdad where he said it rained constantly. Not at all consistent with the image of the Iraqi desert I had.
He didn’t say much more as we finished up, but I did ask him one more thing,
“Do the letters from back home matter? I’ve been writing to a soldier through the Adopt-A-Soldier program, but I don’t know if they’re being read or not. I’m not sure I should keep writing.”
He paused in thought for a moment. “They matter. When I was in Iraq, I got some letters from strangers,” he said. “When I got back home we had a funeral for a friend. Outside the funeral there were protesters yelling at us. It was just wrong.”
“Yeah, those letters matter,” he concluded. “They matter because it tells us someone back home cares.”
Today, I mailed a letter to a soldier. Martin Luther King’s dream of peace won’t be realized until they all come home.
Tears. I am especially sensitive to stories about our brave soldiers and sailors — especially grieved when I hear of protesters at a funeral. Thanks for writing to a soldier, Eric. I have two sailors myself — they are training in Charleston, not yet deployed to an aircraft carrier, but still I’m proud of their service and their decision to sacrifice six years of their life for the protection our country. Peace.
My sincerest wishes that your sailors’ service is rewarding, yet peaceful.