We all owe Guard families
Published 2:16 pm Monday, December 15, 2003
There are many families among us who are going to be sending one or more of their loved ones into harm's way to protect us.
They go to protect all that is dear to us, all that we cherish, in these United States, across Alabama, and right here in Atmore.
They are the National Guard, specifically Co. A of the 711 Signal Battalion. It serves as a communications department, sending and receiving telephone and satellite information.
These departures, slated for Jan. 3, are going to leave a hole in our community, not just in the families who will wait here for their return.
But we as a community have an obligation to the families to step up and help fill the void in the families.
The soldiers are going to keep us safe, it is up to us to help keep their families safe, and do for them what they can't do for themselves.
That may mean driving parents to the doctors, or helping keep an eye on the children while the remaining parent is at work in the afternoons.
It may mean stopping to change a tire, or go mow the yard. It may mean carrying groceries in from the car.
It means giving, too. Some of these families will need to draw on community resources now more than ever. The Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry food bank will need more donations. It is up to us to make them.
We should all make a concentrated effort to give blood on a regular basis so that the supply remains adequate.
We should give of time to volunteer at the church nursery, and at mom's day out, to give breaks to weary parents who are single temporarily so that their loved ones can protect us.
We should give of ourselves by stopping by the homes of those who are waiting for the return of Co. A. Take a coffee cake, take a plate of sandwiches or a casserole.
Plan to visit for a while, just to talk and let the family talk to you.
Sure, there are support services designed for this. There are resources that the spouse and families of the Guard know and will use.
But those resources, as vital as they are, cannot replace the support of the community, especially the community outside the Guard 'family' itself.
We owe it to the ones who serve.
It is more than a duty, it is an honor to support those who protect us.