Athens Now has a subtitle to its moniker: Information and Inspiration, and as I write this, the best I can come up with is a mixture of hope and grim resolve. If I hadn’t read “the back of the book,” and knew for sure that God triumphs, I’d be tempted to sound like an Epicurean and say, “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” But, as Mo Brooks so eloquently said recently at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast here in Athens, “We have faced worse, we have faced a war on three fronts, Europe, Africa, and Asia.” We have, and it gave us the Greatest Generation. They were guys who did not get to come home for very long periods of time, and a mobile Pizza Hut or Cinnabon hut was not within walking distance on their FOB at Midway or on Normandy.
As of this writing, here is what our soldiers are facing, whether they are here or abroad. We have Nidal Hassan, the convicted Ft. Hood jihadist-murderer who wants his citizenship to be declared as that of ISIS. We have ISIS, who is butchering and beheading, but whom our Commander-in-Chief described as a “Jay-vee team.” We have ELEVEN missing commercial aircraft from Libya, and it is not at all alarmist to point out the fact that September 11th is next week. We have the death of Major General Harold Greene, the highest ranking General killed since Vietnam, and whose funeral apparently was not important enough to attend by some of the highest “powers that be.” That kind of thing does great damage to the morale of our troops, as does Benghazi and the Bergdahl trade-for-terrorists. We have over 6,000 foreign nationals who have been “lost” by Homeland Security, whose student visas have expired. Can you say sleeper cell? And, we have a southern border that is being successfully invaded by unarmed ten year olds.
We have the VA system, which on the one hand has been a boon to many, and recently has fallen down on the job to the point that its malpractice has resulted in the deaths of more than a handful.
Let’s talk about Israel. Our allies are being pounded, and excoriated for defending themselves. Our official response to their dilemma has been appalling, and thankfully they understand that there is a strong showing of citizen support for their plight, even when the governmental one is less than paltry. I have an acquaintance, who I hope to see when I go to Israel in November, who is the former mayor of the ancient city of Shiloh. He has assured me that the people of Israel fully understand that the current administration does not in any way reflect the commitment of the American people to the nation that is their strongest ally.
What does all this mean to our soldiers, and what can we do? We can do what Paul says, when he declares that each one of us has a responsibility to “lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” When I say this, I am not for one moment dissing our troops. They are not “feeble,” they are the best in the world and its history, they are just tired of leadership that puts tee time before making their tours of duty a success. What can we do? We can “lead from behind.” We can stay on top of things so if they get sent back into harm’s way, (which is more than likely, and soon,) we know what is going on with them. We can adopt them, write them, send them care packages, pray for them, email them, Skype them, look after their families, and “watch their six.” What they don’t need is our fear and hand wringing. What they do need is for us to dig as deep as they do, lock arms with them, and not rest. Their lives, and ours, depend on it.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner