Letters to the Editor - Dec. 13

December 13, 2010

A veteran of the Vietnam War is free and flying high

To the editor:

This letter is in remembrance and honor of Mikhael Bowen Sigafoose.

April 27, 2009, was a sad day for all of us. It was the day that we lost Mike for the second and final time. But unlike the first, it was a day of celebration. Mike is now free and flying high and above with the Lord.

During Mike's time with us, he touched and won many hearts. He was a loving son, grandson, brother, father, grandfather, a Vietnam veteran and my dear friend.

My dear friend and I enjoyed doing many things together. In our youth, we both loved late-night fishing, and endless rides to nowhere. We were both adventurous and loving life. Together, we danced under the stars. He was my man, and I was his woman.


Personally, I will always remember Mike's smile and his words of love for our son (Little Mike) and me. Over the years, he never failed to assure me of his love.

Mike was also unique in his ability to see the goodness and values of others. Yet, he failed to see his own goodness and values. Eventually, he became his own worst enemy. But that was not always the case.

In 1967, Mike graduated from high school and followed his plan. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. After returning home, we soon discovered that our Mike was no longer the same man. His heart and soul were too delicate to endure the evils of war.

Like many soldiers returning from war, Mike was wounded, but blindly we could not see. He needed our help, but it was not there. It is ironic that in bravery, he sacrificed his heart and soul, proudly fighting to protect his country's independence.

He was a true hero. Yet we failed to see his greatness and purity. Like so many other Vietnam veterans, he was never given any special recognition for his military service.

In contrast, he was now viewed as a broken man living in the shadows of the tragedies of the war. In ignorance, we judged and frowned on what we could not understand. And happily, we marched forward in our carefree lives, leaving Mike and other veterans to stand alone in the darkness of their fears.

May God forgive us. Their cries were unheard. With love, goodbye my dear friend.

Anna P. Hartle

Local pastor brings light and truth to people's lives

To the editor:

For those who know the Rev. John R. Miller, they'd be hard-pressed to come up with another man of God of his equal in the Tri-State area. I know this is a bold statement, but it is no less true.

I've come to realize (as many have) over the years that he is indeed anointed of God - for the betterment of mankind and the glory of God. Hailing from Washington County and raised in West Virginia, he deserves to be heralded as a rare gem of our larger local community. His wife, Melissa, deserves much of the credit. As missionaries now, their ministry spans the globe.

As pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship in Williamsport, and at the peak of a successful ministry, Pastor John (P.J., as I refer to him) got an unanticipated "special calling." The Millers would have to sacrifice all they knew and loved at Faith Christian to become missionaries, being obedient to the Lord's plan.

I had the privilege this summer to accompany them on a mission trip to the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. That week cemented all that I thought of the Millers. They actually walked the talk - church buildings restored, a widow's home repainted and hurting Indians returning from war surrendered to Christ as their blessed hope. And this is only a snapshot of all they do in South and Central America, as well as Europe and here at home.

P.J. is held in the highest regard among his peers. His sterling reputation precedes him. When local churches need someone to fill the pulpit, John is the "go-to guy." This is where P.J. shines. With compassion and urgency for lost souls, he preaches the Word without compromise or apology.

Funerals, weddings, men's retreats, preaching at Hagerstown's Rescue Mission, comforting military families, inspiring communities and giving hope to local pastors in far-away lands - the list seems endless; all stirring at the heart of man's deepest needs.

When I consider all they do (by Christ Jesus' power), this passage describes them well:

"Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous" (Psalm 112:4).

As Christmas approaches, may such light arise in our lives (as it does through the lives of the Millers) to bring the truth of the Gospel to those who are hurting and who are hungry in spirit.

Jim Rosko

Politics should be about service, not sport

To the editor:

Bravo to former Washington County Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire for his remarks on public service as quoted in The Herald-Mail of Wednesday, Dec. 1 ("Outgoing county commissioners emotional at their final meeting, page A1).

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