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ARMED FORCES DAY - May 18, 2006

Armed Forces Day will be celebrated on Saturday, May 20.

“President Harry Truman created Armed Forces Day more than 54 years ago. His intention still survives as a single day--in unity to show appreciation to our Armed Forces. This is a time to emphasize the role of the military in a democratic society and honor the people of the Armed Forces of the United States. At the present time, many of the soldiers are Reserve or National Guard who continue making great sacrifices. Saying ‘good bye’ during mobilization is more challenging for them because of financial issues, civilian job worries, and family support matters. There are more than 250,000 reserve and active duty soldiers deployed around the world. The days of National Guard and Reserve troops being seen as part time soldiers is ‘as obsolete as metal helmets’.” (Staff Sgt. Debra Couture, 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

“The view of the National Guard and Reserve is changing. The public is beginning to realize that we are being called up more and more since Sept. 11, 2001. We are much more than weekend soldiers. The new citizen soldiers are our neighbors, friends, teachers, and co-workers who volunteer to train for the time when the United States will call on them to serve.”(by Maj. Gen. William B. Lynch, Adjutant General, Pa. National Guard.)

If we expect people to answer the call and put themselves in harm’s way, we need to support them. It should be important to every American to show appreciation to the men and women in our Armed Forces. I have special feelings about showing our gratitude. Todd Rhodes, husband of our daughter Sarah, is returning to Iraq to finish his second tour of active duty with the North Carolina National Guard.

I was in Hickory last weekend to take part in welcoming him home. I am overwhelmed with pride and gratitude for his service to all of us. The very things that we take for granted and sometimes even complain about, such as green grass and having to mow it, are what he was looking forward to. He showed us pictures of sand and then the same scenes after a rain when the mud was axle deep on their trucks. His men work well together, have a good mental and emotional outlook and feel that progress is being made.

We attended the dance recital for their daughters, Michelle, Emily and Rebecca. The finale was an interpretive dance by Michelle’s group to the song “Somebody’s Praying You Through,” sung by Allen Amsbury. The conclusion showed Michelle kneeling in prayer at one side of the stage. Todd appeared at her side, in uniform. This was a very emotional time for the audience.

Somebody’s Praying Me Through

Pressing over me like a big blue sky

I know someone has me on their heart tonight

That’s why I know it’s gonna be alright

’Cause somebody’s praying me through

It may be my Mother, it might be my Dad

Or an old friend I’ve forgot I had

But whoever it is I’m so glad that

Somebody’s praying me through

Through the tears, through the rain

Through the sorrow, through the pain

It keeps bringing me through

Over and over again

So when you’re drowning in a sea of hurt

And it feels like life couldn’t get any worse

There’s a blessing waiting to push back the curse

’Cause somebody’s praying you through

Someone got down on their knees and prayed for me

Somewhere, somebody’s praying you through.

Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a country where we could not have green grass to mow, pray in a public place, have National Day of Prayer on the courthouse lawn or vote in elections as we did last week?

Freedom is not free. Through the ages our armed forces have made sacrifices.

Our prayers are important to our men who are defending the freedoms we hold so dear. We must pray for them and thank them for defending the peace and prosperity that Americans enjoy. We must bring them home to a nation where we show appreciation and love.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:


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