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Thinking Of You

Written by Dennis Sun
        In the next 15 days, 940 members of the Wyoming Army National Guard’s 115th Fires Brigade will leave Wyoming for a yearlong deployment to the Middle East. This movement will be the largest military deployment in our state’s history.
    Wyoming will feel the impact of these young men and women leaving the state at one time. It hopefully won’t be for any longer than the proposed year. Many of these guard members are community police and sheriff’s deputies. Others have jobs as diverse as Wyoming. What they all have in common is the families they leave behind in Wyoming. For some this will be a huge hardship, especially given the declining economy. We owe them, as well as the others who have left Wyoming for harm’s way during times of war and peace, a big “thanks.” For those who gave their lives in conflict, we owe their families our eternal gratitude.
    Whether you favor the placement of troops in the Middle East or not, it doesn’t matter at this time. Guard members and others from our armed forces around the world didn’t pick the fight, but they are our sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. We respect that and because of them and all of the other military personnel before them, we can print what we want, read what we want and agree and disagree openly on what we read. These young people don’t take that for granted and neither should we.
    Most members of this deployment are destined for Kuwait. We can be thankful for that as there are a lot worst places to be. We realize they signed up to serve in the military and that they all knew deployment could happen at any time. But, does it really matter? They are protecting our rights and the principles we believe in.
    I know what it is like to serve during a time when the military doesn’t have much respect at home. I was drafted during the Vietnam conflict. Walking through an airport while being called a “baby killer” was not fun. I was lucky that I wasn’t placed amidst the fighting as many were. I was not in the military by choice while I was there, but I served proudly as other members of my family had before me. It was a duty to my country. When called, you serve. These days it is a choice to serve in the military, but Americans still owe those who volunteer respect. We should also assist their families however possible in the months ahead.
    America has not reached greatness by luck alone. The call to arms has been in place for many, many years. These troops being deployed are going to be just as afraid as we were and all of the others that have served before them. They will be worried about their families and will hope they still have a job when they get back. We owe it to them to assist their families when needed and say a prayer for them every day they are gone. Wyoming and America are going to be stronger because of them.
Dennis