Thurman P. Woodfork

HEARTS AND MINDS

A soldier, some shoes, a child in need
The deliberate planting of a seed
That must grow into a sturdy tree
Of trust before these people are free

Force by itself will not win the war;
Merely conquering leaves a suppurating sore
That festers behind subjugated eyes
Eventually erupting as emotions rise.

“Hearts and Minds” may well sound trite
But must be employed along with might.
The rock hard fist in a mailed glove
Can never engender the kind of love

That will allow our troops to leave in peace
And give our soldiers their deserved release
So they can come home and put down their guns
Knowing their job is over – and well done.
Till next time.

Maj. Rollin F. Jackson, commander of Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment
Maj. Rollin F. Jackson, commander of Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, searches a box of new, donated shoes to find a pair for an Iraqi child during a visit to a fishing village near Fallujah, Iraq, on April 22, 2004. Members of the battalion visited the village to provide the children with shoes and school supplies, donated by the Marines’ friends and family members, as well as give the residents basic medical check-ups. The battalion provides security for the 1st Force Service Support Group at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, and has conducted several trips to surrounding communities in hopes of building a positive rapport with the local population. Jackson, 37, is a native of O’Fallon, Mo. Photo by: Sgt. Matt Epright