Former campus student Eric Von Euw, ('99) proudly serves overseas as he joined thousands of soldiers fighting to maintain America's freedom. Home economics and art teacher, Sharon Scharf, has made it possible for students to converse with her nephew, Von Euw. Now 22, he has been in Afghanistan since July 1 and is part of the 82nd Airborne based out of Fort Bragg, NC.
Earlier this year the journalism classes sent out questionnaires to Von Euw and his fellow soldiers. With Von Euw's responses, students can get a glance of life as a soldier in Afghanistan. He did state that some questions he was unable to answer due to security reasons.
Not only is war physically straining, but emotionally harmful as well. A soldier must be emotionally stable to endure the hardships and stress of everyday life. Death becomes a major role as the intensity of war increases.
"I don't think any soldier likes the idea of ending human life. But If ending the life of someone over here makes my loved ones safer, then that's what has to be done. I've seen some ugly things over here, but I'm sure I'll be fine."
Being a Christian has helped Von Euw stay strong and courageous. He believes God is by his side at all times.
"After Sept. 11, I wanted to ensure nothing like that would ever happen again. This was the way I felt I could best contribute."
"I have my highs and lows, but I believe that it is God getting me through this. He is my strength. ?I will be strong, and courageous. I will not be terrified, or discouraged; for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go' (Joshua 1:9)."
When asked about the complexity of war, Von Euw said his companions take precedence over his fears.
"A lot of times, I feel like I cannot go on. But, my buddies like to depend on me being able to do my job. So, I will never quit."
The avid soldier believes self-control is key to staying alive and protecting fellow soldiers.
"I've seen a lot of things over here that have made me angry, even outraged. But a big part of being a soldier is maintaining discipline. When you let your emotions get the best of you, you don't think clearly. And that's a sure fire way to get your buddies hurt."
Von Euw has recognized his several blessings while oversees and wants students to also realize all they've been blessed with as Americans.
"Afghanistan is a very poor and primitive country. Being here has made me realize how much I take for granted."
According to Scharf, Von Euw is expected to return to the U.S. on Dec. 19 and is looking forward to spending Christmas with his family and friends.
For students who wish to learn more about the82nd Airborne and the army, go to www.army.mil/ or to send letters to the 82nd Airborne, see Scharf in room. 625.