North has words of praise for GIs on duty across Iraq
Soldiers do their jobs well, FOX broadcaster says
(Reprint from the Winston Salem Journal,
November 16, 2003)
Oliver North, a decorated Marine, Reagan administration official and Iran-Contra figure, visited Northwest North Carolina yesterday to talk about "family, faith and freedom."
North attended rallies in Winston-Salem and Wilkesboro that were sponsored by Revival Soy, a company in Kernersville that sells a popular line of soy foods.
North is now the host of the program War Stories on the FOX News Channel. He spoke at Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem in a speech that was open to the public.
Flanked by red, white and blue balloons and speaking in front of a giant American flag, North said he goes about his job on the program by letting the soldiers in Iraq do the talking.
He said that many broadcast reporters have big egos and spin the news to create a false impression that American troops in Iraq have low morale.
"It's not getting through, in much of our media, of who we've got out there," he said.
North said that the typical American soldier was a high-school athlete who now writes letters home to his parents each week, wants to marry his high-school sweetheart and "goes out and works in 100-degree heat all day and doesn't complain about it."
The average soldier obeys orders under fire and is self-sufficient, North said.
"He can take a life or save one because that's his job, and he knows how to do it well," he said. "He's been taught by our culture that grown men don't cry, and yet I've seen them weep, unashamed, over the body of a fallen comrade."
Nearly every soldier keeps a Bible, said North, who held one up as he spoke.
"Every word in this book is true," he said. "This book is an operations plan for life. It is the only book that I have ever read from cover to cover more than once, and I have just started my sixth decade."
North said he talks about the Bible when he speaks at memorial services, and said that it distinguishes Christianity from religious philosophies that value the way people die, not how they live their lives.
"I don't believe we ever ought to be shy about expressing our faith," he said.
Bob and Susan Noll of Winston-Salem were in the audience. Bob Noll's brother, George Noll, returned home a few months ago from combat in Iraq.
"So the message really spoke to me," Bob Noll said. "He was saved while he was over there."
Susan Noll said she saw some people in the audience wipe their eyes as North spoke.
Revival Soy was founded five years ago by Dr. Aaron Tabor of Kernersville, who is the chief executive officer. His brother Byron Tabor is the chief operating officer and their brother Nathan Tabor is the vice president of sales and marketing. Nathan Tabor is also a Republican candidate for Congress in the 5th congressional district.
The company is known for its Christian work ethic.
"Most of all, our hearts' desire is that you leave here knowing Jesus Christ as your personal savior," Byron Tabor, who is an evangelist, told people who gathered yesterday to hear North.
Meg Ryan, a spokeswoman for Revival Soy, said she was not sure whether the company paid North's standard fee. North's speaking engagements are booked by Premier Speakers Bureau; his standard fee is $30,000.