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Journal Writing Project: Eric Leitzen


Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

By Eric M. Leitzen

Anger. Sadness. Indifference. Fear. Longing. This is what I saw on the bronze faces of the nineteen soldiers that made up the National Korean War Memorial. Those faces, so masterfully sculpted, will be forever burned into my memory as a reminder as to the horror and terror of war.

I felt an overpowering sadness as I viewed the soldier at the end of the column. He was frozen in time, quickly pivoted, at the sound of a possible enemy. His face was cast backward into the eyes of those approaching, his face stamped with an immense fright that I cannot even imagine. If he was lucky, he would be able to warn the rest of his platoon before the enemy opened fire. If he was not, he would be shot on the spot the instant he turned around; but for us he remained still, listening to that sudden noise.

A short way up on the memorial stands the radioman, with the long whip antenna protruding from his back. He could not be a more beautiful target to the enemy soldiers, who in one gunshot could wipe out the platoon's communication and leave them stranded. He knew full and well that he would be the first to be shot by the enemy, yet his courage was so amazingly great that he willingly carried that mark of death on his back. His face registered nothing but pure indifference to the whole situation. He might be killed, he might not. All he cared about was to keep plodding on through the countryside and make camp at night. He chose not to think about the immense target he bore, but rather on something more mundane. It would be all that he could do to keep his sanity. Standing at the memorial, I could almost hear his quiet voice counting his steps to keep his mind occupied, one, two, one, two.

Ahead of the radioman marched the soldier with the B.A.R, or Browning Automatic Rifle. It was the most powerful infantry weapon in the entire platoon, and the man that bore the heavy rifle had to be a strong one. The gun could easily stave off enemy fire and send them scattering, which was the main reason why this man was another prime target. The other soldiers were armed with guns that paled to the might of the B.A.R, and the enemy knew this. Again, this man's courage must be enormous to bear such a heavy weapon and a heavy burden. He wished that he was anywhere but there, and you could see him, tramping along steadily, thinking of his sweetheart back home, or perhaps his fat .....
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Of People, Places and Things: Courts will likely decide Heartlands fate

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

At the Preston City Council meeting on Monday night, when Preston Mayor Dave Pechulis pulled a rabbit out of his hat and ruled that a three to two vote supporting a conditional use permit for Heartland had failed because it did not meet the super maj ..... 
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At Home in the Woods: Harvey, the Homeless

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It is 2:30 p.m. at the Harmony Library, time for me to begin a talk about my book "At Home in the Big Woods," but the only people who are here besides me are the librarian, the maintenance man and one patron. I never know what to expect when I prepar ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Andy Wolter

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Summer seems like it might finally be back, weatherwise at least we see some days crawling up to 80 degrees. School is getting close to being out, again, and I cant say if thats a good thing or not (again). When ever summer comes around I always ma ..... 
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Township Roads: Gopher Mine

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

They say that all wealth comes from the earth and I was reminded of that early last Sunday. Against my better judgment I got up early. I ground some coffee beans and set our high-tech coffee maker to do what it does best noisily boil water and slos ..... 
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Prairie Notes: Take me home, country roads

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Last March, my older sister Jenni called, wondering what to do about our mothers dilemma. Moms recently diagnosed osteoporosis left her unable to bend or lift meant no spring cleaning without help. On a mutually agreed upon weekend, I drove to my s ..... 
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The Commute: "The Bachelor"Bangladesh-style

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

An old student came back to see me this week. He had some big news: hes getting married this summer. Hell return to his homeland, Bangladesh, for the wedding. The exact date is not certain, but he knows it will be in July. Heres the interesting pa ..... 
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