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Samuel Cooper was one of the first to fight in the Revolutionary War. When he was commissioned as a colonial officer in 1774, the Declaration of Independence had not yet been written. He was serving the British Crown as a second lieutenant out of Connecticut.
With the colonies starting to splinter after Lexington and Concord, Cooper ended up commanding a militia stationed at the Roxbury township outside Boston.
He wrote home to his wife about a month after his unit set up camp. There was little information to share, but he already dreamt of the war's end: "I cant [sic] tell when I shall come home but I have [encouragement] of coming in about a month but not Certain."
Cooper writes exactly as many of us have when we were deployed. There is no detail about the life, no sense of his daily struggles or concerns, just a father who wants his wife to be strong and his children to be healthy: "John is fat & Rugged which I Rejoice to hear & Prize above gold."
As in every camp, uniform items were scarce and it was every man for himself. Cooper had been screwed over by some of his buddies (Revolutionary War precursors of the modern-day Blue Falcon), forcing him to write his wife: "Send me two Pair of Linen Stockings for I have had two Pair Stole [and] The Rest are all wore out."
You won't find anything about the implications of fighting against soldiers who were their friends a few months before. Cooper was no strategist or politician. He left that to others who were forced away from the fight by age, cowardice, or circumstance.
Death hovered over Cooper, forcing him to clarify what example he wanted to set. "The Dangers we are to Encounter I [know] not but it Shall never be Said to my Children your father was a Coward." Many soldiers, despite their youth, have written similar words to those they knew they may leave behind.
This letter is just one of thousands from that war, and from the tens or hundreds of thousands over America's long life. Its themes should resonate with those of us who fought in recent memory. The mundane and the patriotic, the father and the warrior, stacked uncomfortably against each other in a simple note home from the front
Roxbury July 18 1775 To my Dear wife & Children
I Received yours which I Prize next to your Person the welfare of our family I understand is good you tell me John is fat & Rugged which I Rejoice to hear & Prize above gold the Rest of our Children I Dont mention be Cause I Left them well I shall give you but a Short Detail of affairs for I Expect this will not arrive the State of the army is such that I Cant tell when I Shall Come home but I have In Couragem't of Comeing in about a month but not Certain I want you to Send me two Pair of Linen Stockings for I have had two Pair Stole The Rest are all wore out I Did not Receive in Your Last Letter to me what I Expected but hope to in the next Dear maddam I Rejoice that I am able to acquaint you that I Enjoy a good State of Health & god be Praised our Company is harty—the Dangers we are to Encounter I no not but it Shall never be Said to my Children your father was a Coward Let the event be what it will be not troubled make you Self Easy in Due time I hope to Return home in Peace & Enjoy the pleasures of worthy wife & Loving Children & Subscribe my Self your Loving Husband & father
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.
A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.
Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.
On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.