Hope Rides Eternal
by David Jeffers
September 24, 2007
“Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.”
Those now famous words scream out of these pages as a constant reminder of what I’ve lost. Those words were first sent to me as a quick note from my son serving so far away, becoming a man way too quick. I remember reading the email for the first time thinking to myself, “Oh my, Eddie has written something very big.” Of course in Eddie’s normal style, it came across as almost an afterthought.
Let me allow you to eavesdrop on his actual words from the original email: Dad, I've recently read all the emails you've sent, and I've decided to respond in the form of an actual article, it's been a long time coming. So here it is, do with it as you like.
Nothing more, just Eddie’s normal way of writing a “rant” as he liked to call them, in the fashion of Dennis Miller who Eddie enjoyed so much. He told me he wrote the article in about 10-15 minutes because he didn’t have much time and had to go. Eddie had no idea of what he had written nor the profound effect it would have on all of us. I knew almost immediately that this needed major circulation; that this was on a caliber of the poignant letters to home in the past times of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Here is what I wrote him in response:
Son, I'm sorry I didn't answer this earlier. It was in my junk mail inbox for some reason. I've fixed that.
As for your article, words fail me. You have written what is possibly one of the greatest wartime articles ever. I've read many, from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, both World Wars, the Korean and Viet Nam wars, all very moving, all very poignant.
Your story, however, made me look within myself, and I'm your father! I forgot I was reading something from you. To say that I am proud of you and that you are my hero is not worthy of how I feel.
Son, we are praying for you without ceasing and I long for the day you return home safely. Keep doing the great job you are, and stay close to the Lord, He will never leave you nor forsake you.
I love you and miss you greatly and am so very proud of you. May God continue to keep you safe.
Love in Christ,
I also knew that there were many unscrupulous media outlets and everyone that came to mind that could do a mass circulation were completely untrustworthy. I wrote Rod Martin of The Vanguard.org his ideas and began to pray about it. I had recently published some articles with the New Media Journal and through my good friend Greg Allen of The Right Balance, I had come to know Frank Salvato as a man of great passion, integrity, and patriotism. It became clear to me that Frank should be the one to publish this if he deemed it worthy.
We now know that Frank deemed it worthy, but it was much more than that to him, again please eavesdrop on our conversation:
God bless you Frank; we are truly humbled. (My thank you note)
It's just me doing my part. I was speaking with my wife last night, and as I choked back tears I told her this was possibly the most important thing I had ever published. (Frank)
That is typical Frank Salvato humility; genuine and so endearing. My family has come to love this man for his great kindness and compassion.
As “Hope Rides Alone” spread across this country and out beyond our boundaries beyond our shores, The Ride was no longer alone; it was a stampede of many a sleeping patriot, the true but hidden citizen who had been long lulled to sleep as though some magic spell had been cast over our country. The response was beyond all imagination. I told my wife Karen that I was naïve enough to believe Eddie’s article could spark a revolution.
A revolution where people finally say “ENOUGH!” and “NEVER AGAIN!” will we stand by and watch our brave men and women castigated by the unpatriotic, unworthy, uncaring, unloving, un-Americans who love power and hate all that is good about America. We said, and are saying, and will forever say to these pitiful politicians, psychopaths, pacifists, pinkos, and pathetic performers of Hollywood and the Left, “You will not exact defeat on our country as you did with Vietnam!” The outrage we felt when Senator Harry Reid said the war is lost was wonderfully portrayed in Frank’s castigation of this leading Dhimmicrat in "The Blood on Your Hands."
Since Eddie’s death Wednesday our family has been lavished in amazing grace and love and we are literally being sustained by it. I’ve been saying a couple of days now that I am half-a-breath from crumbling, being held up by my Heavenly Father and comforted by my savior Jesus Christ. When people tell me that you are holding up incredibly well, I assure them that it is all God and none of me. God is already seeing the glory He so richly deserves through Eddie’s passing and Eddie would be so happy to know that. Eddie did not want us dishonoring his life and service like so many have done. He wanted what he stood for to carry on even if he was killed in action.
Many of you are angry that Eddie has died all the while the enemy within continues to relentlessly disgrace our military and our Commander-in-Chief. More than one person has asked me how we answer this. How do we counter this obvious attack on the survival of our country?
Simple, we use the Ronald Reagan strategy; the strategy he used against the Soviet Union and communism. Reagan said: “Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”
Did you catch that? It’s so simple it’s easy to miss…we of the “Hope Rides Alone” family and all our like-minded Americans win. “The Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America (who) spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about”; they lose.
Eddie wrote in his article "Freedom Feels Good": I have lost very close friends over here. I don't want their lives to have been given in vain. Simply put, we are fighters. We are all in the same place for various reasons, for me, it's personal. I am in a modern day crusade to exterminate evil.
Many of you have said since Eddie’s death that now it’s personal, now when these leftist hate America first loonies shoot off their mouths, they are attacking Eddie. I agree.
For me it is personal; it always has been. I will not let my son die in vain. People have been so sweet and say Eddie will never have died in vain, but he can. He can if we do not fight back; if we do not win. Eddie was on “modern day crusade to exterminate evil” and I will change one word in our fight against the enemy within. We will not exterminate any political opponent, but we can and we must eliminate them from having any control over our country. Their history of failure and destruction fills libraries.
My son is living eternally with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a fact and a knowledge that brings great comfort and solace to my family and friends. Those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior will one day join Eddie. It was his passion to share Christ with all he came to know.
I miss my boy and I long to hold him again and my grief is comforted knowing that he died a hero doing what he believed to be his life mission from God. One co-worker wrote me and said a parent should never have to bury a child and how true that statement is. Nevertheless only God knows how much time we have left.
I know with every moment I have left it is my hope to bring honor and glory to God and to continue the fight my son passed on to us. Most of you who wrote Eddie said that hope does not ride alone. You are right. Hope rides eternal. So let’s ride!
Dave Jeffers is a Sunday school teacher, Bible student, lay preacher and the author of "Understanding Evangelicals". Dave has taught and preached the word of God at churches in Germany and Belgium, as well as his home church in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Dave is a retired Army Master Sergeant and his 22 years of active duty not only allowed him to travel the world, but to also adopt a worldview based on biblical principles and life experiences.
Reprinted at David Jeffers request from the New Media Journal
Tributes to Sgt Eddie Jeffers