Thursday, November 8, 2007

"I always wanted to be a soldier."

I'm working on a Veterans Day package for Sunday's paper, so I've been interviewing a lot of soldiers lately. This afternoon I spoke to Lt. Col. Mark London, who was in Iraq with the Georgia 48th for about a year in 2005 and 2006.

Talking to these guys used to make me feel small. These days I just feel proud.

Col. London was talking about the way forward in Iraq, and about how he and other soldiers tried to spend a lot of time with children. His wife, and others, would send shoes, clothes, soccer balls, etc., over and the soldiers would hand them out, he said.

From Col. London:
It's real hard to change the minds of adults. They don't really know what freedom is about. ... They don't really know what freedom is. But these young kids, they love Americans. They love soccer over there. We gave them soccer balls. We gave them shoes. ...

I really think that's going to make a huge difference there in 10, 15 years. ...

I always wanted to be a soldier. ... I think that everyone should serve this country in some capacity. Not everybody's made to be a soldier, you know. But there's other ways to serve. Peace Corps. And helping out the homeless. There's so many ways that people can serve.

No comments: