The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

MAY  2010

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






Ashley's Avenue

Support Our Heroes...

by Ashley Murphy

After reading a recent e-mail that I received and deciding on the paper's inspirational article this month, it led me to the idea of writing a little something about our troops, our soldiers, our men and women who are risking their lives everyday, so that you and I can continue to enjoy the freedoms that this great country currently allows us.

Many people in this country (and beyond) don't agree with the ongoing war America is fighting in the Middle East. I am one of those. I didn't necessarily agree when we invaded Iraq nearly a decade ago, but I also didn't agree with what was going on in that country to cause us to take action. Either way, we have our men and women, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and husbands and wives overseas, giving their time, in some cases their lives, to protect us and our nation and to preserve our freedoms. Like the war or not, we have to support our heroes. Encourage them. Pray for them to make it home safely.

I know several people who are enlisted, or talked about enlisting, in some branch of the military, two of them I consider very close to me; the other is my brother.

An old friend of mine is currently stationed in Idaho serving in the Air Force. While he is still in America, there is that chance, at any moment, that he could be shipped off to serve overseas.

Another friend has expressed interest in serving with the Army Special Forces. He and I actually used to have several discussions about him enlisting. In this particular part of the Army, it's a lot of hands-on, up-front, direct action. In those discussions, we had factored in how it would impact his life, his family, his friends and basically anyone who cared about him. It was a big deal and it made me worry, but that's what he had his mind set on. I haven't talked to this particular person in some time, so I'm not sure if his mind has wavered from the idea any or not, but it's his decision. A decision he needs support in. Not just from everyone who cares about him, but support from all of those he would be serving.

Ashley Murphy
People News Media Assistant

Do you have questions or comments? If so, e-mail Ashley at:

My brother, who just turned 19, is enrolled in the Army ROTC program at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. He recently decided that he wanted to be a combat medic in the Army. I just found out that he has also officially enlisted himself into the Army. So, if he passes all required training and tests (and this war is still happening) he will most likely be sent to serve almost immediately. The family didn't agree with his reasoning for joining the Army, but now that he has enlisted, he will find out quick that he can't back out. So, for now, we just have to support his efforts and see how it all plays out.

An e-mail I received a while ago was a chain letter for prayer, but it made quite a few points that shouldn't be taken lightly. I don't exactly agree with the beginning of the letter, which states that the average age of military personnel is 19 years old. It then goes into referencing life of those 19 year olds who serve.

It is true that the majority of prospective service members are recruited from high school and college, but the target ages are 18-28 years of age. So here are the bits that really got to me and apply not only to the teenagers serving, but those thousands who are in their 20s and early 30s, and maybe even beyond.

"{He} has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away...

"He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than he was at home, because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk...

"He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life -or take it- because that is his job...

"He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private for friends who have fallen in combat and he is unashamed...

"He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful...

"And now we have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation calls us to do so...

"As you go to bed tonight, imagine this picture...A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets."

ust please remember they are fighting for freedom, our freedom. They are fighting for the continued independence of our nation. They are fighting to protect what took our Founding Fathers years to set in place. They are risking their lives, and in some cases giving their lives, for you and me.

Thank those you know, who served past and present. Remember those who gave their lives. Say a prayer for all of those still giving their time and dedication.

Support our troops America.