A Hero of Peace
Born James Earl Carter Jr. on October 1, 1924, Jimmy Carter is very much alive and kicking today. He has recently published yet another book and he builds homes for the less fortunate. Yes, that does mean that he swings a hammer and does physical labor. At the ripe old age of 94, no less! The most important thing I can say about Former President Jimmy Carter is that he was and is a man of peace. Jimmy Carter served as our 39th president from Jan. 20, 1977 to Jan 20, 1981. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 as well as winning a number of other awards throughout his lifetime. OK, so why is Jimmy Carter a hero to me? I joined the United States Army in 1979. There was not a G.I. Bill at the time because we were not at war – anywhere. While it was kinda icky that I didn’t get some of the cool benefits most veterans get, I look back on my service and understand the power of that statement… We were not at war! I was stationed in Germany for much of my tour of duty. Most of the service people I saw every day talked about how they had no intention of fighting should a war break out. They all had their special plan on how they were going to get away and not participate. After all, we were in Europe. It wasn’t going to be OUR war! …Until the Iranian Hostage situation happened. To a man, every single person I knew in the military there, was ready to go to war. Just say the word and they were ready! They took the situation as a personal attack. That was OUR embassy! Those were OUR people! It was the most amazing 180 degree attitude change I have ever experienced. Ever! And President Carter chose NOT to go to war over it. Instead he did what his heart told him to do. He looked for a peaceful way to resolve the situation. From a soldier’s perspective it felt wrong. But when I look at it today with 20/20 hindsight I totally get what he was trying to do! And he staked his political career on doing what he felt to be the right thing. President Carter did many great things while he was in the White House, carrying that heavy burden. (If you don’t think it’s a heavy burden look at the photos of EVERY president after just 4 years in the chair.) But for me, the most important thing he accomplished was to make real differences in world peace. Did you know that on his second day in office he pardoned all the Vietnam War draft dodgers? Did you also know that he gave us 2 new cabinet-level departments (that I think are VERY important), The Department of Energy and the Department of Education. Those departments are aimed at peacefully helping our people in our country. I just learned that this former president has written over 30 books as well as being a key figure in the Habitat for Humanity charity. While he willingly answers questions with the press I love the way he handles the difficult ones about our current president. He has strong opinions but always talks with respect for our country. Everything this man does is all about finding peace. Whether it’s big or small. Won’t you join me in honoring former President Jimmy Carter as a hero?