Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

It's easy to forget the soldiers.

Too easy, for those of us who live, almost without exception, lives of tranquility.

The headlines tell of debt ceiling debates and prospective

presidential candidates and mothers acquitted by a jury but convicted

by the court of public opinion.

Iraq and Afghanistan can begin to seem more distant, more historical.

Until you read about Spc. Christopher Soderholm, a National

Guardsman from Baker City whose story, in the July 13 issue, is like a

dash of frigid water splashed on your cheeks.

You remember that men and women, some of them your neighbors and friends, are at this minute serving in war zones.

And their lives are nothing like tranquil.

Soderholm was driving a vehicle in Iraq months ago when it struck an improvised explosive device.

The blast ignited the vehicle and injured its gunner, Spc. Maximillian Miller of Dundee.

Soderholm carried Miller to safety, then ran back to the vehicle with a fire extinguisher.

Both soldiers, along with the vehicle's commander, Staff Sgt. Tony Cox, survived and soon returned to duty.

On July 5 Soderholm received the Bronze Star for his actions.

He and his fellow soldiers from the local Guard unit are scheduled to come home in mid-September, having served a one-year tour of duty.

For six more weeks or so, they'll be in a place with dangers and deprivations most of us can scarcely imagine.

That's the job they chose.

Ours is immeasurably easier.

We just need to remember them.