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Letters to the Editor

Mary Lou, job well done, reader says

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your feature story on Mary Lou Koepp. Her hard work and dedicated service keeping the town of Farragut on firm financial footing is greatly appreciated.

She has been recognized by the Government Finance Officer Association with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This is keeping in the spirit of full and fair disclosure of your tax dollars.

Mary Lou, we thank you for a job well done!

John Troyer, CPA

Tennessee State Representative to the GFOA


Farragut Intermediate School class receives letter from adopted


Dear Editor:

My name is Maj. Tony Carroll. Thank you very much for all of your wonderful letters. I appreciate all of your prayers you have said for me. I am stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. Can you find that on a map? I am a civil affairs officer in 1st Battalion, 8th U.S. Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.

The weather here is starting to get hot. It is especially hot because I wear body armor to protect myself. Some days it gets over 100 degrees outside and it will get up to 130 degrees when summer arrives. I really dread that, but I know that it is something I have to do to help protect my family and my country. Some days I miss my family so bad and I wish I were home. I also miss eating big juicy McDonald’s hamburgers and fries … that’s super-sized, of course. I drink a lot of water when we are on missions and I always get very dirty. I normally wear my uniform at least four days before I wash it so I really get stinky.

Many of the kids here are fascinated by all the equipment we wear. Some of them think my glasses are X-ray glasses that can see through walls and things. I act like I can see through things and they believe it. Most of the kids like us and wave at us when we pass. Whenever we stop they always come up and ask for chocolate, water, candy and always want my sunglasses. Some speak English and ask me if I am married. I show them pictures of my wife and daughter and they love it.

There are some people here that don’t like us and want to hurt us. Last week two of my friends were ambushed and were wounded. The enemy planted bombs along the road and blew them up as they passed. Sometimes I get a little scared, but I know God protects me. I live on a FOB, which stands for “Forward Operating Base.” The enemy sometimes fires mortars and rockets.

I really miss my family. My wife, Leah, is at home waiting on me to come home. She is a cosmetologist. My daughter, Madeline, is 6 years old and she wishes that I were home, too. I call them on the phone once a week and e-mail them every day.

I go on missions nearly every day. Sometimes I go on patrols, ambushes, and raids, but mostly I go out on missions to help people rebuild their city. Sometimes we build new schools, roads, markets and this week I am building a fence for goats and sheep. I am really blessed to be an American because I see how other people live. Most kids here don’t have a lot of the things that American children have like Nintendo, Playstation and X-Box. They usually play soccer outside if they have a ball. I saw two kids playing with an old tire yesterday. Many of the kids are so happy to get a pencil or paper. That is something that is easy to get in America, but kids here just love to get things like that.

We are here with the 1st Cavalry Division which is in Texas. When they say UT they think it means University of Texas. I tell them it means University of Tennessee. They don’t like it when I say that. They will be real mad when we put the big orange “T” on our Hummer.

I appreciate the wonderful letters. They brought a tear to my eye.


Maj. Tony Carroll



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