Published: Mar 07, 2012 12:01 AM
Modified: Mar 06, 2012 08:37 PM
Editor's Note: Sam Taylor wrote columns for the Chapel Hill News during and after deployment to Iraq. Here is an excerpt.
For the first few months I served in southern Iraq, we came under indirect fire as regularly as clock work.
There is something very strange in having an appointment with an attack. One of the aircraft mechanics wrote a song called "IDF Thursdays," which he played at our talent night. Others met for prayer groups.
When I arrived in Basra the COB was in mourning for three enlisted men who had been killed in a rocket attack. One night I found myself sitting in the chaplain's office with a fellow. I was ready for him to throw the most hateful language at the faceless attackers. Instead, he began speaking about the hellish conditions in the city, about the massive unemployment, the hunger of the people. ...
This (soldier and others) were the same people who worked 18-hour shifts to make sure our mission was successful. They had no interest in failing to do what they had been sent to do, (yet) they were able to see the common humanity between us and the local Iraqi citizens.
In that spirit I am trying to find a way to pray for Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old man who allegedly killed six people and injured 13 others in Arizona on Jan. 8 (2011).
There is an amazing amount of hatred and fear in our country today. There are people of many political persuasions selling lies, people who continue to choose to believe those lies, and people who act on those lies.
This is America. We are capable of better than this. By God, we have a responsibility to do better than this.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.