Of all the people in the Miller Pond neighborhood, one guy and one family stand apart.
Miller Pond is one of the three neighborhoods where Rock Hill is threatening to cut off water service if people don't agree to be annexed into the city. The city in this fight is trying to impose its will for reasons it claims are good.
The city's method is threats - perceived and actual. Miller Pond people are, understandably, seeing the city and saying: "villains."
Tim Sweatt, at home fighting annexation, is one of the people who sued the city last week to keep the water on.
On the other side of the world Sweatt was the one trying to get the people to listen. He used no threats. He cut off no water. He pointed no fingers.
Tim Sweatt, banker, was for almost 20 months in 2007 and 2008, Staff Sgt. Tim Sweatt, U.S. Army National Guard, Afghanistan.
"Our mission was to win the hearts and minds of local people over there," said Sweatt. "We were asking them to agree to do things, to let us help them build infrastructure and society to make their lives better."
In theory, that military mission sounds just like what Rock Hill claims annexation will bring to Miller Pond - better services, better lives, etc.
That is where the similarities end.
The city has lectured Miller Pond neighbors, sent letters threatening to cut off water, set deadlines, sneered.
Carey Smith, outgoing city manager and the main cut-off man for water, has used all the charm of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
You remember Rummy. He claimed that people in Iraq and Afghanistan overseas would welcome troops with open arms as liberators with great ideas.
The people there would throw flowers when seeing outsiders coming in, Rumsfeld said then, just like Smith says now Miller Pond people should do.
Rumsfeld, like Smith, had no clue how real people like to be treated.
The city, instead of using tanks to get what it wants, uses the threat of an unflushed toilet to extort its will.
"For lack of better words, we have been bullied," Sweatt said.
But the soldiers in Afghanistan - the dozens of men whom Sweatt took care of as a non-commissioned officer - could not and did not threaten the Afghan civilians to get results, he said.
This is a guy who drank what water he could for months in Afghanistan, a guy who knows what it is like to not have running water for hygiene.
"Outsiders coming in," as Sweatt put it about Afghanistan, could not go to the locals in Afghanistan and say, "Do it our way or else!"
"We had to work with the people over there," Sweatt said. "We had to convince them that seeing things our way was the best way. Threats didn't work."
While Sweatt was in Afghanistan - where he likely will go again - his wife and two children stayed home in Miller Pond.
Melia Sweatt, the wife who knows what it is to sacrifice her own life and joy when duty calls for someone else; daughter Callie, now 7; son Raleigh, 5.
"We, in this house, know what it is like to play by the rules, to do our best for others," Melia Sweatt said. "Tim went to Afghanistan. We stayed home. He did what he was ordered to do. He did not complain. We didn't either.
"But nobody appreciated the way the city has come in with threats of terminating water service. We just want some time to sort this thing out."
While Tim was toting a machine gun every day in a war zone, the Sweatts dutifully paid their water bill to the city of Rock Hill - about double what most city residents pay.
Melia Sweatt paid a premium at home for water service, while Tim worked to get running water to Afghans.
Their reward two years later? A disconnect notice when they dared not want involuntary annexation.
So when the mail comes to the Sweatt house, and it is not orders to go back to a war but threats of cut-off water, the Sweatts - who know a little something about sacrifice - become a bit vexed.
When Tim was leaving for Afghanistan on April 19, 2007, from the parking lot of the Rock Hill armory, Callie was 4. The bus was running, the doors were closing, the soldiers were on the bus.
Before the doors shut, Callie marched past a colonel and up the bus stairs and hugged her father one last time before he left and missed so much of her little life so he could bring water to Afghans.
Months later in Afghanistan, Tim was walking in the streets when a little barefoot Afghan kid, about 4 years old, grabbed his finger and walked with Tim for blocks and blocks and would not let go.
Just a person, holding the hand of someone from outside named Staff Sgt. Tim Sweatt, who along with other soldiers were there to make that kids' life better.
Rock Hill has extended no hands to be held in this water fight.
It is not that Tim Sweatt and his family don't know how to follow orders, or do what they are told. He left and fought a war when ordered, without question. His wife took care of family without complaint.
They and neighbors who sued want time to sort this out, and see what their options are, look at what legal documents they supposedly signed and the city supposedly signed and the developer of Miller Pond supposedly signed.
The city's answer has been thrown-down deadlines and conditions.
Tim Sweatt has been on both sides. He knows how to convince people to believe that a government is there to help them.
The point of a gun, even a water pistol, is not it.