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"Mailbag" Continued...

Issue: "When the base cracks," July 21, 2007

Encouragement, not hankies

Enough already! The June 9 cover story ("Goodbye again") is just one more in the endless parade of daily stories about casualties in Iraq. Yes, we are deeply grieved for the death of each brave American, and we can only imagine the pain of their families. But honor their sacrifice by reminding us that our soldiers are not just fighting in Iraq but in the Iraqi front of the War on Terror.
-Jim Heggie; Camano Island, Wash.

"Goodbye again" concentrated on the pain of soldiers and their families. "Supporting the troops" does not mean pitying them or bringing them home before their mission is complete. Why not speak more of their successes, such as their effectiveness in killing and capturing the enemy, and making life better for the Iraqis through rebuilding? For example, while I was serving in eastern Baghdad in 2005, we oversaw the completion of many infrastructure projects started by the 1st Cavalry Division of Fort Hood. Give a soldier a pat on the back, not a handkerchief.
-Joshua S. Conary; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Credit where due

I appreciated Megan Basham's review of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ("Off course," June 9). As fans of Capt. Jack Sparrow, my family went to see it for our daughter's 14th birthday just days before reading your article. Basham's description of Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom as "dead weight" helped me understand my relief at their "demise." Still, I left the theater feeling great about one thing: that Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner actually got married before spending their one day together.
-Melodee Seelye; Kalispell, Mont.

The more things change

I'm very familiar with the issue of women's head covering ("A symbol of glory," June 2). I grew up in a Scandinavian church begun by immigrants. In the early 1900s our church split, mostly over this issue and over whether men should be allowed to wear neckties. Most of the church my family grew up in took the position that these should be preferences, not mandates. In the other church, the women still wear scarves during worship. The few women in our church who now wear scarves say it means they are "subject to their husbands." I notice the Russian and Romanian immigrants in our area are going through the same struggles our immigrant church did: the "old ways" of head covering versus the "new ways."
-Laura L. Matson; Battle Ground, Wash.

The issue of head covering may be worth only one column, but the radical obedience to the Word of God that prompted it is worthy of multiple articles. It is time that evangelicals got over the embarrassments of a legalistic past, regained our spiritual nerve, and stopped making excuses for the Scriptures.
-Ralph E. Ritter; Brooklyn, N.Y.


The "Step 3" quote in Andrée Seu's "AA revisited" (May 19, p. 43) is from co-founder Clarence Snyder's pamphlet "Going Through the Steps."


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