No. 503



If your life is in grave and constant danger and you are under stress
that just won¹t go away, here is a special verse from the Bible that will
bring you great comfort. This verse can be found in Jeremiah 29:11 where it
says, ³For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans
for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope²
Over the years I have read this particular verse at least 20 times, and
when compared to so many other verses, it has never been that special to me.
It may be because I am not in our nation¹s Armed Forces, fighting in the war
in Iraq, and not knowing if this will be my last day on the earth to be
alive. Can you imagine what it must be like for thousands and thousands of
our nation¹s soldier citizens to be there and face real and present danger
every moment of every day and with every bend in the road?
Not having been there personally, I can¹t, but I do have a deep respect
and admiration for those who have been there and those still there today. I
believe every true American owes them a deep debt of gratitude. Politics
aside, the vast majority of the American people support our troops who are
in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting a war against terrorism. Only those who
have a short memory and are terribly naive do not believe this threat is
real. It is in this context that I would like to share a hand-written letter
from a soldier who is currently serving in Iraq.
As an assignment several months ago Mrs. Barger¹s sixth-grade class at
the Greenbrier Middle School in Greenbrier, Arkansas, wrote letters to our
troops in Iraq as a way to express their gratitude and to let them know they
were praying for their safety. This letter is addressed to Kala Mavity, and
is dated January 16, 2005. It begins: ³Hello from Iraq. How are you doing?
I¹m good here. I just read your letter and decided to write you back. I¹m
glad your teacher gave y¹all this writing assignment. My fellow Joes and I
have really enjoyed reading the letters. It¹s so great to hear from folks
back home, especially from the future generations.
³I tell you this. I think of all the Œstuff¹ I¹ve been through and
experienced here. The many sacrifices I¹ve given up and then I think of
young people like you who are back home taking time to write us. You and
your class have made it all worth it. I would do it again so you guys can
grow up in freedom. I hope you will remember things like ŒU.S. soldiers
going to war¹ and let it motivate you to always excel in life and to always
trust in Jesus to take care of you. I will. I encourage you to finish school
and go to college. Thank you so much for writing me. I hope you get good
grades. Never give up on Jesus or yourself. P.S. This is a Bible verse that
has brought me great comfort. Jeremiah 29:11 ‹ A U.S. soldier, SPC Arthur
When I read this letter the second time, a number of thoughts came to
mind that I would like to share with you. You may agree or you may disagree,
but when it comes to politics, I consider myself to be an Independent. In
any political race, I just look at the issue involved or which candidate I
believe has America¹s best interest at heart, and that¹s the way I vote. In
the case of the war with Iraq, I had much rather not have our troops over
there, and I agonize each time I hear about one or more of our soldiers
losing their lives. What a sad day for the loved ones of these individuals
who have made the supreme sacrifice? With that said, I support our
president¹s decision to be there, to be able to rid the world of a tyrant
and to give a terribly oppressed people a chance at freedom.
Just remember what SPC Mahan said, ³I would do it again so you guys can
grow up in freedom.² To this date, our military people and others have not
found weapons of mass destruction, but the thing that convinced me that we
had done the right thing is when the nation¹s first election was held. Even
with the threat of death, more than 80 percent of the Iraqi people lined up
and voted because the human spirit longs for freedom, the same freedom most
of us in this great country take for granted.
It¹s not that I want to stir up controversy, but I think we have a group
of people in our nation that poses a far greater threat to our freedom than
the terrorists who would do us great harm. Let me elaborate a bit. In his
letter when SFC Mahan talked about Jesus, I realized he was not being
politically correct. After all, he is a member of our Armed Services and
gets paid with taxpayer money. That¹s the climate that has been created by
our courts by case rulings brought about largely by the ACLU. The ACLU Web
site says there are more than 400,000 card-carrying members of this
organization. Here is a question that every American would do well to think
about ‹ How many of these people do you think have served in the military
and have fought on the battlefield, in any war, to preserve our freedom?
Thanks SPC Mahan. God bless you.
(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You
may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)