Wednesday, November 24, 2010
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Letter from the Editor – Not Just Another Name on the Wall

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY – Usually iSurf News posts letters to the Editor. This week, we will be posting a letter from the editor. My name is J. L. Graham and I am the District 3 News Director for iSurf News. I come to our readers today with my views on a very personal and dear subject to me, the American Soldier.

I have a particular interest in our soldiers from a direct point of view. You see, my father, Billy E. Graham of Muhlenberg County Kentucky was a military man. He was a Sergeant 1st Class in the United States Army during the Korean War. You can find his name written on a plaque along with hundreds of other soldiers in the Greenville Town Square. Many people have read his name over the years, but most did not know him. Today, I am here to tell our readers that none of those names on that plaque, including my Dad, are just names on a wall.

During my Dad’s service in Korea, he saw it all. He saw his friends die. One died in his very arms. He never spoke of his military service much, mostly due to the fact that his memories were very painful to him. He saw the real side of war. Despite the fact that he hurt from his experience, Dad never regretted a moment of it. I spoke with some of his companions later on in life, and they all said that he was a brave man. They too weren’t happy about their time spent overseas, but every single one of them said that they would do it again.

You see, they didn’t join the army for the money, or to get free travel around the world. They didn’t do it for fun or enjoyment. When our soldiers left for Korea, Vietnam, and the many other wars, they put their lives on the back burner. They left their families, friends, their very lives behind, and some never returned. So why did they do this? What could possibly be so valuable that you would leave every aspect of your existence behind? The same reason that you and I would take a bullet in defense of our wives, children, families and friends. It was love. It was all-consuming love. It was a love so powerful that death couldn’t even stop it. It was a love for their families, their country, their freedom, and everything that our flag still stands for today.

My Dad died on my 21st birthday, 22 years ago. He died of cancer, not a bullet or an explosive in some foreign country. Nevertheless, a part of him was never the same after his experiences over there. He lost a lot of himself. Would he do it again? I asked him that once. His answer, “Son, you weren’t even born yet, but you were what I was fighting for. I would do it a thousand times over if that’s what it took to keep you safe and free.”

Every aspect of the lives that you and I live today are gifts from people like my Dad. Every soldier that signs that paper saying that he will serve his country is signing a trade contract. The trade is his life for our freedom. That said, I wish to make two statements today, one to my Dad, and one to every other soldier that ever has or will stand for our country.

Dad, I miss you with all my heart. You were the best Dad ever. You showed me the power of true love and you taught me how to be a father to my kids. They never got to meet you Dad, but they know that you fought for them, and they love you as intensely as I do. I will always be grateful for your sacrifice for us, your family, and your country.

To our soldiers, past, current, and future, I know what you are doing, and you are my heroes. You are the ones that my kids look to when they want to know what being a true hero is. It doesn’t matter if you fought in a war. All that matters is that you are willing to. You would lay down your life for your family and mine, and there is no way to repay you for that. You are the reason for freedom, and you will always be our heroes. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

This Memorial Day, take a moment to pray for our soldiers, those that came and those that will come. We owe them our very existence. May God bless all of our troops. You will never be just another name on a wall.

J. L. Graham
iSurf News


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