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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Thankful in Iraq

Bonnie Rufty Emerson, a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Salisbury, N.C., wants people to know that support from home makes a difference to soldiers like her son, Kemp Wilson, an Army infantryman (above). Wilson, who was sent to Iraq in May 2003, was to return in April but his stay was extended. The church newsletter published a poem Wilson wrote in response to a package he received from parishioners on Christmas Eve. An excerpt reads: "My buddies and I light the Christmas candle. We share the peanuts, hard candy and cookies. We hold the Christmas cards and gaze at the familiar pictures. A stocking, an ornament, a poster signed by the children. Memories of growing up, services and people fill my mind. My heart is full. Yes, I believe. It is Christmas Eve." His mother added this note when sending the photo: "The next time I see a child on his lap I hope he doesn't need a gun there too."


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