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Dear Mom ...

Letter from Iraq honorsa mother, and all mothers

Parents try not to make too much of it, but don't we all hope that our kids will remember us on those special days? For Dawn Tewes of Central Point, hearing from her daughter, Trisha-Dawn Noel Tewes, is a particular delight, for her daughter is a medic with the 101st Airborne Division, serving in Kirkuk, Iraq.

Pfc. Tewes, 24, is a 1999 graduate of Crater High School. The daughter of Dawn and Mark, she has been in Iraq since September of last year. Her most recent letter home, however, didn't focus on her situation, but instead on her mother, expressing the sentiments more of us should remember to offer:

A friend of the family said the letter should be in the newspaper on Mother's Day. We agree. Here it is and Happy Mother's Day to all moms:

Hey Mommy:

I am so sorry I am missing yet another holiday with you. I am always over here thinking of you and missing you very much. I want you to know that while they are calling us heroes over here, the real heroes are our parents back home who raised us to hold our values and morals close to our hearts. You are my hero, my idol and my dearest friend.

When people ask me who I most look up to, who I would most like to be, my response is instantaneous. I tell them I want to be like the strongest, most patient, most loving woman I know.

I want to be like the woman who gave me independence, who taught me to speak my mind. The woman in my life who always set an example of unending love, unwavering patience and utter acceptance. ...

I miss you and I love you. I cannot wait to come home to revisit favorite memories and create new ones. Thank you for all you have given that shapes who I am and who I will become. You are my hero and I aspire to be just like you.

Love always,

Your dearest friend and your biggest fan

Your little girl

Trisha-Dawn Noel Tewes

A bit of compassionThe right to breathe easy in public places is taken for granted today, and tobacco smokers are often relegated to designated outdoor areas. But even that is being challenged. Rogue Valley Medical Center has announced it will become smoke-free Jan. 1, with no smoking allowed anywhere on its large campus, indoors or out.

We're a bit of two minds on this. Where better to insist on no smoking than at a hospital, where the effects of the addiction can be seen in their final, painful forms? We understand the message from RVMC and admire it.

But hospitals also serve people who may have had no idea an hour earlier that they would be there. Now, in the midst of what may be one of the most stressful times in their lives, they discover they have to walk a couple of blocks to have a smoke.

Cigarette smoking is a deadly habit and second-hand smoke has claimed far too many innocents. But a bit of compassion for those addicted to that habit may be in order, even if it's only represented by a small covered space situated a suitable distance away from buildings and commonly used pathways.