Saturday, September 22, 2007

Words from CSM Johnson ...

Dateline: FOB Blue Diamond
22 September 2007

The U.S. Military, a small force by historical standards is extended well beyond itself after more than six years of fighting the war on terrorism. Repeated deployments of active military members and reservists and reduced “dwell times” between postings to the war zone have taxed soldiers and is taking a growing toll on the home front. In the Army at this time there are 44 Brigade Combat Teams, 43 of which have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan at lease once and more than half of those units have deployed 2 or 3 times.

To have 1 percent of this nation’s citizens bear 100 percent of the burden is morally wrong. “To Support the Troops” takes on a whole new meaning. In the military family our experience is that we live in two different worlds-the one for everybody else, and the one for military families and service people. To have “skin in the game” means; that you or a close friend have a family member deployed in a Combat Theater in support of Operations OIF or OEF. Unless you’ve got “skin in the game” or know someone who does, it just doesn’t seem to matter. Most of America is at the mall. You say, “Well, what can I do?”

The stress of the battle field is debilitating; and it is compounded when combined with the strain from home. Consider the added stress placed on the Soldier as he deals with the day-to-day rigors of combat knowing that his wife is at home with three small children dealing with the weight of the world. We’ve all been there; remember what that feels like? She is on duty 24/7, everyday of the entire deployment. If you want to help, contact your local church and find out how to get in touch with the families of deployed Soldiers within the congregation. Offer to watch the children for an afternoon or a morning so Mom can have some time for herself. If you have a friend interested; better yet, give Mom two breaks a week. It will make all the difference in the world to that family. That my friend is “Supporting the Troops” and for that I salute you.

I decided to write this posting after reading an article titled: Gut Check: Iraq war’s impact at home, by Kari Huus. I could never get my point across as eloquently as Ms Huus, but it sure made me stop and think. I am grateful for her words and I thank God everyday for Mrs. Johnson and my three adult sons.

SGM Larry Johnson
Al Anbar

No comments: