Archive for Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Soldier returns to Afghanistan

Faith helps Tonganoxie native with adjustment to dangers of military

November 10, 2004

Recently, John Hutchison did something that some men might take for granted -- spending time with his wife.

Hutchison, a scout sniper for the U.S. Army, was home for several weeks before he returned to southern Afghanistan where he spent the previous six months.

In May of next year, he'll return to his duty station at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

And next October he'll complete his Army service.

Hutchison, the son of Kim and Dave Lovvorn, is a 1998 graduate of Tonganoxie High School. He and his wife, Sarah, were married in April 2003.

In Afghanistan, Hutchison escorts government officials when they travel.

"Our main job at the moment is helping in escorting and with security for U.N. officials during voter registration," Hutchison said.

In the area where he's been, there's not as much violence as in Iraq.

"There's still Taliban in the area," Hutchison said. "It's nothing like you're going to see in Iraq because Iraq is urban and the fighting is urban. Afghanistan is a third-world country, everybody lives in grass huts."

And, Hutchison said, Afghanistan has a mountainous terrain. There are few roads and what solid structures do exist were built by or through Americans.

Hutchison said he's a supporter of the United States, and of the current administration.

And, whether he's overseas or at home, Hutchison said he puts his faith in God. In fact, when he gets out of the Army next year he intends to enroll in seminary school.

His faith has helped him adjust to life in Afghanistan, he said.

"You definitely pray," Hutchison said. "God is definitely an important thing in my life out there, and especially at home, too."

It helps, he said, that he knows his family is praying, as well.

"You put your worries aside when you have more faith in God and your family back there and everybody supports you," Hutchison said.

He's looking forward to his future.

"I'm ready ... to just come on back to enjoy my wife and my life some more," Hutchison said.

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