Different faces, same heroics

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sherri Stevens and McKinley Barnes don’t look a thing alike.

While Sherri’s electric blue eyes show the heart of a fighter, her beautiful, young face screams all-American girl.

She fits right in on the Copiah-Lincoln Community College campus, a place where Mr. Barnes would certainly stand out.

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He looks on you with aging eyes of experience, wisdom and thanksgiving.

Neither face tells the whole story.

The two local residents, both featured in today’s edition, share a special bond, but you couldn’t prove it on first glance.

Stevens and Barnes are war veterans, separated only by time and technology.

Barnes fought in World War II as a young man.

Stevens fought in Iraq as a young woman.

Both are Army. Both saw too much.

The duo illustrates a generation gap that makes it difficult for heroes such as Stevens to accept the title “veteran.”

But our younger generation of heroes is growing daily, and the struggle to fit back into civilian life is just as difficult as it was for the great World War II heroes.

We cannot necessarily make that transition easier, but we can take time out to thank the Iraq generation, the WWII generation and all that fall in between for their commitment.

Veterans Day is set aside for just such actions, publicly, privately or even just through prayer.

Today, tomorrow and forever, we say thank you.