Now I no longer serve, I thank those who do
Published 9:00 pm Monday, August 2, 2004
It's been a little over three years since I wore a pair of Corfram shoes with a perfectly straight "gig-line" under a blue blazer with rank on both sleeves. Since I left active service, very few times have I wished to be back in the military; not that it was a bad experience. In fact, it taught me a lot about the world and about myself. Those four years are years that I would never trade in or regret how they were spent. If I had to do it over again, I would spend that time the same exact way; spending it serving my country.
It's amazing all that we take for granted in this country. Even now, I have the freedom to express my opinion on any subject I choose. During my time in the Air Force, the things I gave up were nothing in comparison to our local National Guard. What about our local heroes overseas. What are they giving up? If you want an idea, make sure you read today's front page story about Kauream Reynolds.
The old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words is definitely true, especially when referring to our front page picture featuring Reynolds. This picture shows Reynolds, a member of Company A, holding his daughter Krystal for the first time ever. For those of you who have not served in the military you might find yourself asking, how can this man stand not being with his daughter? But in my own opinion, I would venture to say that he is sacrificing his time with his daughter, because of his daughter.
It's a question that I am sure many servicemen and women have asked or been asked. Why did I enlist or why would I do it again? It's a question that can be hard to answer, and that answer is different depending on who is asked. For myself, my answer is sometimes hard to express, and always private. But scenes like the one of Reynolds holding his daughter brings it all home, makes all the sacrifices worth it.
And now that I am no longer in the service, I thank those men and women who are the ones out there making the sacrifices allowing me to hold my daughter. I just want to say, "thank you," to the men and women of Atmore who are representing us on the battlefield. I pray that you each come home to your loved ones, just as you left… safe and loved.
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org