A little boy’s concern about soldiers who are contemplating suicide

February 13, 2013

A 7-year-old’s message to soldiers and veterans who don’t want to go on living
Writing for the Huffington Post, Eleanor Goldberg wrote this story about a compassionate second grader, John Murray, Jr., who, upon learning that some soldiers contemplate suicide, decided to remind them of something they need to do: “Ask for help.” Included with the article is a short NBC-News video in which the boy is interviewed. You can read the complete story, as told by the boy’s mother in a letter to Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho who has posted it on the official website of the U.S. Army. I found the mother’s letter not only  compelling in itself but as providing a wonderful example of wise parenting— taking advantage of a teachable moment to help a child learn facts, compassion, and empathy in terms he could easily understand and that prompted in him a desire to do something.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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