Sept. 16, 2001
Army recruiter tells what you can do
To the Editor:
As a soldier of 20 years, I appreciate the patriotism we have seen over the last few days. I attended a local football game Friday night, complete with candlelight vigil and patriotic music that captured much of the emotion we all feel. Support for the military is the highest I recall since Desert Storm.
But I remain cautious, because America's attention span is often short-lived. In my current assignment, I oversee Army and Army Reserve recruiting in a three-state area. America has the best Army in the world and recruiting is where it all starts. It is hard work, but vital to our nation.
The "volunteer force" is a misnomer. It is an "all recruited" force requiring contact with thousands of men and women, and the active support of citizens in our schools, universities, churches and communities. Unfortunately, too many people look at recruiting as a disruption, and military service as something good for someone else, but not them, their son or daughter.
Your Army does not want an emotional rush to recruiting stations. However, your Army does need your long-term support for recruiting. For instance, over 150 schools in Mississippi do not release student information for recruiting efforts. A few colleges do not release student recruiting information despite federal law. This is an incredible handicap. Here are ways you can help.
Visit your local Army recruiting station. Learn about today's Army and Army Reserve and the benefits of service. Ask how you can help.
Encourage your school to provide student recruiting information and schedule the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
If you are a parent, have an open mind about military service.
Talk to young men and women positively about service to our country.
Invite recruiters to events.
Display material in your place of work.
Do something special for soldiers that enlist from your school or community.
Be supportive if a recruiter calls or visits it's his job and he's doing it for our country.
In this challenging time our country looks to our leaders and to the professionalism of our military to resolve this crisis. Clearly, this is a time for us all to show the greatness of our preceding generations, those that gave us the advantages we enjoy today.
You should continue to display the flags and wear the ribbons, but if you really want to help your nation, start with your local recruiter. The price of freedom is not free. If not you, then who?
William H. Brady
(601) 366-0926 or
Aldersgate residents show their support
To the Editor:
Aldersgate's residents joined with the nation in mourning by participating in a memorial service on Wednesday, led by Rev. Jon Kaufmann, one of Aldersgate's volunteer chaplains.
The room was filled with individuals who vividly remember another attack on American soil almost 60 years ago. They came to pray, to listen, to grieve, to share and to remember. They expressed their concern for our country's leaders, the wounded, the rescuers, and the ones who have lost family and friends, or are waiting to hear about loved ones.
They also spoke of their deep concern for the younger generation, so unaccustomed to this kind of "invasion" into their cocoon of safety, comfort and peace. At this end of the service, strong voices sang as one, to the moving strains of "God Bless America."
These men and women have seen war, they know what is means. They are no strangers to hard times. In their eyes, we can see the memories, in their experience and strength, we can find comfort and guidance.
For all of our incredible technology, we still turn anguished eyes to them, when our world is shattered once again by terror. They've been there and survived. So will we.
British people in support of U.S.
To the Editor:
This is a letter I received from a gourd customer from England. I thought it was worth sharing with the rest of America. I have never met this couple but we correspond a lot through e-mail.
Mrs. Ray Davis
Letter from England:
I am writing to you and all your fellow Americans in this tragic time, to pass on our condolences and express our sorrow at what must be an almost unbearable period in your history. The eyes of our country are on you right now, and our hearts go out to you all especially those who have lost loved ones and friends dear to them in this atrocious and despicable act of cowardice.
It may comfort you to know that the British people grieve for you, and that as a nation we stand shoulder to shoulder with you, as you have done for us in the past. As a mark of respect, when they changed to guard at Buckingham Palace this morning, the band played "The Star-Spangled Banner" instead of our own national anthem, which I thought was a profound gesture, and one which reflected the pride we have in counting you all among our friends.
Please pass on our heartfelt sorrow for what you must be going through right now, and let the American people know that their friends in England are thinking of them and our prayers go out to you.
God bless you all.
John and Ruth Cooke