Word For It. . .

2Chronicles7:14-“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Hope Rides Alone

Posted by wordforit on April 27, 2008

SGT. Edmund John Jeffer’s last few words were some of the most touching, inspiring and most truthful words spoken since the tragedy of 9/11 – and our nation went to war.

SGT. Jeffers was a strong soldier and talented writer. He died in Iraq on September 19, 2007.

He was a loving husband, brother and son. His service was more than this country could ever grasp – but the least you can do for the man who sacrificed his life for you … is listen to what he had to say.



Hope Rides Alone
By Eddie Jeffers



I stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has been given to me from my government for taking the lives of others.

I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families s again…and yet, I too, am just a boy…my age not but a few years more e than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid…because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.

There are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my own…but that are necessary for survival. I’ve made compromises with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who walk in the same streets… who feel the same things, whether they admit to it or not.

And to think, I volunteered for this…

And I am ignorant to the rest of the world…or so I thought.

But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn’t fit your average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America, and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our President to Hitler.

I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because that’s what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old.  The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First Class.

People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don’t realize its effects on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease-fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy’s brutality because it’s against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy.

The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward’s war against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of their service to America  is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our nation’s news outlets. And every day, the enemy changes…only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it.

But in denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they are isolating the military from society…and they are becoming our enemy.

Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word ‘quagmire’ around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or third time,    some, even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics that it is interfering with our war.                                         



Terrorists cut the heads off American citizens on the Internet…and there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed…for doing their job.

It is absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we’ve done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed? It’s all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show people that Bush was right.

America has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is right and just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It’s not like World War Two, where people rationed food, and turned in cars to be made into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a service member, its life as usual…the war doesn’t affect you.

But it affects us. And when it is over, and the troops come home, and they try to piece together what’s left of them after their service…where will the detractors be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most of which have been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of their friends? They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can’t touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.

We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life:  safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped, and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause, and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor…we cannot place the burden on our military alone.

We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not.  And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon Stickers on your cars. It’s supporting our President, our troops and our cause.

Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn’t.

Let’s stop all the political nonsense; let’s stop all the bickering; let’s stop all the bad news; and let’s stand and fight!                 


Eddie’s father, David Jeffers, writes:

I’m not sure how many letters or articles you’ve ever read from the genre of ‘News from the Front,’ but this is one of the best I’ve ever read, including all of America‘s wars. As I was reading this, I forgot that it was my son who had written it. My emotions range from great pride to great sorrow, knowing that my little boy (22 years old) has become this man. 
He is my hero. Thank all of you for your prayers for him; he needs them now more than ever. God bless.
Though Eddie is no longer with us, you can help to let his voice be heard, pass this one on.

See also: When Nations Die and pay attention to the parts about losing the will to fight.

“Carthage was once called “the eternal rival of Rome” but its preeminence and impact waned as it “sank into debauchery and dissipation as a result of great wealth and luxury.” Law and order were destroyed from within. Moreover, the rich young men of Carthage no longer wanted to serve in the military so they hired mercenaries to do their fighting. But when the army came into fierce conflict with Rome and other adversaries, the mercenaries ran and left the nation defenseless. Carthage fell to Rome in 146 B.C., and the first act of the Roman legions was to restore law and order.

In these and many other examples, social decay led to the decline and fall of a great civilization. If we are to prevent a repeat of history, then we must learn from these lessons of history. “



7 Responses to “Hope Rides Alone”

  1. […] Go to the author’s original blog: Hope Rides Alone […]

  2. Aurora said

    WordForIt, this is a beautiful letter. So much wisdom from someone so young. Thanks for posting it.

    Word reply~ Thanks Aurora! It’s been around a while but I think the message bears repeating. I get so tired of the American bashing by Americans who parrot what others say and couldn’t find their way alone. Blind leading the blind!

    Thanks for coming by and commenting, Aurora!

  3. timbob said

    Greetings. Most people who view the war in Iraq, or any other like situation, with an “armchair quarterback” mindset. Their take on the situation is carefully guided by whatever their philosophical outlook on life might be. This soldier offered up incredible insight and this should be read by all; regardless of political affiliations or opinions.

    Not long ago, I heard a CNN reporter talking. He was in the states, but had been in Iraq for five years; since the outbreak of armed conflict. He was commenting on General Petreaus reporting to congress and how the elected officials were so removed from reality on this situation. Their questions always beginning with a political statement as to tell who hear that they already have an opinion on the matter.

    Of all the things that caught me in this letter, one was the fact that the American citizens have not had to sacrifice anything. It’s all “over there” right now, but it could easily be “right here” tomorrow. With wide open borders, we have no idea of who is in the country, how many of them are here, or what they brought with them.

    Thanks for posting this. It should be linked to and when time permits, I’ll do so.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


    Word reply~ Thanks, Lil’ Bro.
    It confounds me to hear and read the statements civilians who have never left ‘the armchair’ make (including politicians), as if they have some inside info the rest of us are too ignorant to realize. You’re right, we know “seek and you will find” in material contexts and don’t understand the sacrifices of others. Some think that anyone who joins the military ‘can’t do anything else’, which shows lack of understanding in patriotism, which is also sorely lacking.

    I agree that it’s better there than here, but I’m afraid all the political correctness has come back to bite us and the war that is already here in spiritual form is preparing to rear its ugly head in less-than-covert material form. I am shocked to learn how deceived so many are and how revised common sense has become, not to even mention God’s Word.

    You may have heard about the student in S.C. who intended to bomb his school, die and go to heaven to ‘kill Jesus’. I have heard the ‘kill God’ comment several times in different contexts since “The Golden Compass” was announced last December—not solely blaming a movie, just making an observation of the times.

    Delusional, to be sure!

    In Christ’s Eternal Love.

  4. MK said

    Good on ya for posting this word. God bless him and his family, may he rest in peace now.

    Word reply~

    Rest in peace, indeed, MK. It breaks my heart when the news shows the names and ages of fallen soldiers and I think of another family who has lost a loved one, just trying to do their part.

    The presidential campaigning has been a terrible distraction of stupidity and who can pull the thickest wool over the eyes of the voters, while those who would readjust our lives are moving in for the kill right in our midst. If PC doesn’t destroy us, politicians will! Or is that all the same thing? ;-)

  5. Angie said

    WFI, What a beautiful letter, it is so true that we sit here and enjoy our liberty and go about as if nothing is taking place on the battlefield when we should be on our knees daily praying for these brave young men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis for us.

    The politicians make me want to barf! I know too that I should be praying for them and I do pray for our country and Israel but I have been so disillusioned with our leaders..It is as if they are purposely trying to ‘ruin us’.

    Thanks for such a beautiful post, it should be on every magazine cover.

  6. […] our nation went to war. SGT. jeffers was a strong soldier and talented writer. He died in Iraq onhttps://wordforit.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/hope-rides-alone/Hope Rides Alone: Thoughts on War by Sgt. Eddie JeffersSergeant eddie jeffers Active in Iraq gives […]

  7. texasknights said

    Hi Odele!
    I have not visited you in a long time. Hope all is well!

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