Big or small, we all have to fight the battle

Published 8:26 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford
A wise man once said…
Many, many things, but some are more penetrating than others. The profoundness of these phrases or sayings is based on the events for which they are recalled from my memory. These sometimes humorous sayings have meanings that are straight to the point and very simplistic, yet the points they make are often times very deep in nature.
Sunday, I had the opportunity to cover the First Assembly of God's patriotic presentation for the Advance. The presentation, which is an annual event, held an atmosphere that I would say was heavier than years past. This was due to the fact that this year the church paid special recognition to congregation members serving with the 711th Signal Battalion in Iraq.
Another element that made this presentation special was the recognition of Sgt. Terry Spillman. As most of our readers know, Sgt. Spillman came home from Iraq due to a medical illness that is non-combat related. In one of our "Signaling Home" articles we learned that the illness Sgt. Spillman was suffering from was cancer.
As I sat from a pew relatively close to the front of the church, I thought to myself, each of us is at war. These enemies we fight are sometimes obvious like being in a foreign country with a weapon in hand guarding against attacks or sometimes the enemy we fight is silent, secretly creeping into our lives preparing to take a shot at us.
Watching Sgt. Spillman stand in front of the church to accept the recognition he deserves, I noticed something. Something I am sure that all soldiers in the audience past and present noticed. Even though Sgt. Spillman's body might be frail, his spirit continues to be strong. Standing in front of Major McVay with the assistance of his wife, Spillman displayed an unshakable pride as he clinched his fists tight and placed them by his sides trying to stand a little taller, a little straighter, receiving his medal.
Sgt. Spillman is fighting the personal fight. We have personal battles. Though many of use will never face anything as dangerous as military duty overseas or as grave as cancers, we all have a fight everyday. Even little things are part of the fight.
Myself, I guess my fight would be trying to produce the best newspaper possible for the residents of Atmore. This, and being the husband and father that my family needs me to be for them. What about you, think to yourself, what secret war are you fighting? Sometimes I bet you feel like you are fighting an uphill battle.
"Give out but don't give up." This is the saying that I was referring to in my first paragraph. A saying that helps me go the extra distance, when I feel that I've gone as far as I can. It's a saying that I have heard countless times when I or my father came against a wall. Sometimes it is that small reminder that if we continue, eventually things will turn around for us. So when you feel that the world is nipping at your heels and nothing is going your way remember, it's okay to get tired, to give out. But whatever you do, don't ever, ever give-up.
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at

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