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Soldier's story should inspire us all

July 07, 2007

To the editor:

I wanted to thank The Herald-Mail for the unusual step of publishing the Army Public Affairs-generated story about Spc. Andrew James Lynn of Hagerstown.

And I wanted to thank Specialist Lynn for volunteering to serve our country in this unselfish way. And I want to thank his family for encouraging and supporting him during this difficult time. Only someone with a son or daughter in the military can understand the range of emotions experienced when their country is at war against an enemy such as we face in this war against terror

I am grateful that in spite of the way the mainstream media portrays what is going on in the war against terror that he would not be persuaded that defending our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, was a bad thing.

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What an inspiring story it is. This 21-year-old's testimony and image ought to be burned into your heart and mind as you listen to the ongoing war against terror, whether in Iraq or elsewhere in the world. He and other military members deserve our admiration for believing that some things are more important than self.

Lynn makes clear that achieving a relative peace is important to him. He understands the point of looking past the thought of something life-threatening happening (to himself) to complete the mission

He recognizes the need not to be distracted from the job at hand, "Thoughts of being inches away from home .. my family .. but then I had to refocus and remember that I am here to do a job .. stay aware of my surroundings .. never let my guard down."

Lynn is a young man of faith, as are the overwhelming majority of military members. They understand the words, "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" apply not only to Americans, but to all people.

And he seems to believe that giving the Iraqi people a chance to enjoy these things is worth personal sacrifice.

Speaking of the people at his church as "really supporting what I do," he added that "They pray for me every day and that's one of the reasons why I think nothing's happened to me."

The people in my church believe in what he is doing, too, and pray for him and all of our military members regularly.

This young man's testimony ought to cause every one of us to ask these questions, "Is what I am doing emboldening the enemy, or it robbing the enemy of hope?" "Are my actions making the military's job easier or harder"? "Are my actions instilling in soldiers' hearts the notion that the nation supports them and the mission, enabling them to focus on the mission, or am I creating what might be a deadly distraction?'

If you have a family member or friend who is involved in the war against terror anywhere in the world and would like to read an article such as this, reflecting on his or her exploits, write and urge them to contact their unit's Public Affairs Office and request that articles generated by the PAO about their unit be forwarded to The Herald-Mail at 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown MD 21740.

We want to hear about them and know how we can best support them to the successful completion of their mission.

Edward L. James

Hancock Lynn is a young man of faith, as are the overwhelming majority of

military members. They understand that the words "we hold these truths

to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by

their creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life,

liberty and the pursuit o happiness" apply not only to Americans but to

all people. And he seems to believe that the goal of giving the Iraqi

people a chance to enjoy these things is worth personal sacrifice.

Speaking of the people at his church as "really support[ing] what I

do," he said, "They pray for me every day and that's one of the reasons

why I think nothings happened to me." The people in my church believe

in what he is doing too, and pray for him and all our military regularly.

This young man's testimony ought to cause every one of us to ask the

question "Is what I am doing emboldening the enemy or is it robbing the

enemy of hope?" "Are my words and actions making the military's job

easier or harder? Are my actions instilling in soldier's hearts the

notion that the entire nation supports them and the mission enabling

them to focus on the mission, or am I creating what might be a deadly

distraction?

If you have a family member or friend who is involved in the war

against terror anywhere in the world and would like to read an article

such as this reflecting his or her exploits, write and urge them to

contact their units Public Affairs Office (PAO) and request that

articles generated by the PAO about their unit be forwarded to the

Herald-Mail at (the e-mail address provided. Bob insert address here)

We want to hear about them and know how we at home can best support

them to the successful accomplishment of their mission.

Edward L. James

202 High St

Hancock, MD 21750

301.678.7329

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