Serving is much like mayor job

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2003

More than a month has passed since my activation and deployment, and U.S. troops continue to pour into the European and Middle Eastern Theaters.

As I write this, our country awaits the vote of the Turkish Parliament on whether to allow combat troops to enter, stage and move onward from their country.

If they do allow such an action, then I will most likely be deployed to a region very close to that country to act as a liaison officer for a large combat unit as it conducts operations in support of military actions against Iraq.

The more I learn of my duties and responsibilities associated with this assignment, the more I realize that it is very similar to my role as mayor.

I will be responsible for meeting the needs of thousands of people with timely and accurate resources and given a budget, deadlines and limited personnel with which to accomplish this task. Sound familiar?

The only difference I can see so far, is that I do not expect to get any late night calls about neighbors’ barking dogs or asked if I know the nature of the emergency to which fire trucks and police cars just responded. I almost miss those sometimes &045; almost, that is.

If and once a war is declared and offensive actions begin, I can talk more about the actual operations once they occur. There is so much that I would love to share right now, mostly so that everyone can know the magnitude, ingenuity, cooperation and sheer firepower that the United States, United Kingdom and Australia have massed in anticipation of enforcing United Nations Resolution 1441.

The main concern right now is the ever-present threat of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons used against us (My arm is still sore from the first shot of a series of six shots to immunize me against Anthrax).

Every troop member here has been extensively trained on how to detect and survive such attacks, and how to fight on such a battlefield. Every day, I see boys and girls that are 17, 18 and 19-years-old doing their best to become tactically and technically proficient team members of their respective units.

Every night I pray that each of these sons and daughters have God’s hand on them and return safely to their families soon. I also pray that none of our children ever have to face these conditions again. I know you do, too, and that’s what it takes.

Speaking of God, I read in the Shelby County Reporter that some reader didn’t like my using the word &uot;Godspeed&uot; in an article I submitted to the Reporter. She felt it was inappropriate to refer to God since all people in Shelby County don’t believe in Him.

Let me take this time to say what needs to be said.

First of all, she’s right in that there are a lot of nonbelievers in Shelby County. Our churches and pastors have their work cut out for them. What I’m about to say isn’t politically correct, but I never said that I was.

When your City Council meets, we always ask God to bless our meetings and we always will while I’m in office.

We say &uot;under God&uot; when we pledge allegiance to our Flag. We know that God will be the one to give success to all our city projects and undertakings, not to mention this impending war.

If this next statement earns me hard feelings, brands me as &uot;intolerant&uot; or means I serve only one term as mayor, then that’s just the way it is, but it’s high time that it was said publicly and proudly.

God does exist. He is always in charge, and if anyone finds that hard to swallow, they can kindly leave our city, county, state and nation for all I care.

I’m not the perfect believer, no one is. But we’re not foolish enough to think we sprang up from fish, or lizards, or monkeys or something else equally ridiculous.

I’d also like to thank Dee McDaniel, Jeanette Porter, Sal Rossi and Carole Robbins for their well-written letters that took exception with the misinformed lady.

I just read what I wrote, and it appears to be harsher than what I usually write. Please understand that there are some things that I feel can’t go unanswered or be dealt with in a diplomatic manner.

I will close now. Know that I miss all those who always used to take time from their day just to talk with me about goings on in the city, and I look forward to sitting down with each of you when I return.

I’d also like to say how proud I am of Tom Seale and our City Council and how well they are taking care of our city. Then again, they always have.

Please continue to keep my family, our troops and men in your prayers. Our city is certainly in mine. God Bless you all.

Allan Lowe is a major in the United States Army. He also serves as mayor of Columbiana, the county seat of Shelby County. This article reprinted with permission of the Columbiana Sentry