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Letters From You

Letters should be under 200 words and are subject to editing.

Thank you for your article "War through the Eyes of Faith." Your inclusion of the death of 1st Lt. Forrest Ewens acknowledges that war can "hit home" when one we know dies in service to our country. Praise God for Forrest's life and for the difference he made to others as he lived his faith in the
U.S. Army.

You also acknowledge that students have been called away from their studies to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The dimension missing from your article is the faith perspective of those who are "engaged" in war. As an active-duty Navy chaplain, I have been called by God and the church to live my faith in service to God's people as a noncombatant in the U.S. military. During 2006 I spent seven months in Iraq with my Marine Corps unit, Combat Logistics Battalion 7. Please, in a future article, listen to the voices of those who are actively living their faith in a combat zone because God, not only their country, has called them.

Diana A. Lantz, '93

We are very touched that Forrest's story continues to create discourse and dialogue at Whitworth.

Carol Ewens
Mother of Forrest Ewens, '04

When I began Whitworth as a 22 -year-old freshman, after a tour of duty in Vietnam, I remember not talking much about my combat experiences. It wasn't because I was ashamed; quite the contrary. I didn't believe that young people without such an experience could really understand.

Ten years ago I decided I needed to put pen to paper to try and document some of what I had been through. I wanted something for my wife and kids to read so that they could have a better understanding of that chapter of my life, since it influenced me so much. I sent it to the Wall Street Journal, and it was published. Since then, I've written other pieces that have also been published. I've learned that most people do want to know about the Vietnam War. I had assumed just the opposite before that.

The reason for this note is to encourage you to continue to teach about the war in an honest and open manner. I volunteered to fight in Vietnam. I believed in what we were doing. I was terribly hurt when I returned to the United States. I felt that even those who didn't agree with the war should at least appreciate what those of us who had been in combat had gone through. It's been a long time coming, but slowly people have begun to show some appreciation. If you pay attention to Vietnam vets greeting each other, they often do so by saying, "Welcome home." We do that because we never received a welcome home when we returned. If you're interested in reading my essays, they can be found at www.geocities.com/c2502_101/lickness.html, under "Vietnam 1968."

Tim Lickness, '73

The previous excerpt is from a letter sent to Dale Soden, professor of history and director of the Weyerhaeuser Center, whose essay on teaching about war appeared in our Fall 2007 issue.

Kudos for taking on the controversial topic of war and its impact on the college. I thought you missed an opportunity to highlight Whitworth's peace-studies program. For more than 20 years this unique program has provided future leaders with a practical and theoretical framework for confronting evil in the world that is more consistent with the teachings of Jesus than [is the approach of] the apologists for war. I expected at least to see the creator of the program, Professor [John] Yoder, featured in the mailed version and would commend his online essay to anyone who is looking for a third way in the dead-end debate between isolationism and just war. Whitworth people salt this world in many ways, and the students and graduates now practicing nonviolent conflict resolution in the world as a result of the peace-studies program are more reasons to continue supporting the innovation that is Whitworth.

Breean Beggs, '85

Thank you so much for the article on Forrest Ewens. Although I never met Forrest, one of my closest friends, who is currently serving us in Iraq, was dear friends with Forrest and his wife.

Elizabeth (Milliron) Case, '02

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