After a stranger gave me a ride back to my car, I drove north, crossed the Warrior River and headed to Publix Supermarket to pick up fresh fruit. There I ran into the soccer mom I had accompanied to Home Depot. I thanked her again for her help. She pointed out that the real challenge lay ahead. In a few days, many of the SUVs will stop coming from north of the river. Help will be arriving from FEMA and from private contractors but there is still so much to do. The soccer mom gets it.

Mission trips from church groups are one answer, but just one.

As Mayor Walt Maddox of Tuscaloosa pointed out, this is going to be a marathon, and we’re still in the first quarter mile of a long race.

Earl Tilford,
Reporting from North of the River
(Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

Dr. Earl Tilford is a military historian and fellow for the Middle East & terrorism with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. He currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he is writing a history of the University of Alabama in the 1960s. A retired Air Force intelligence officer, Dr. Tilford earned his PhD in American and European military history at George Washington University. From 1993 to 2001, he served as Director of Research at the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Institute. In 2001, he left Government service for a professorship at Grove City College, where he taught courses in military history, national security, and international and domestic terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Publication date: May 4, 2011

Photo credit: (C) World Vision. Used with permission.