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The 781st deserves better

They're coming home. Finally. This week the 781st Alabama Army National Guard unit is being rotated home to the open arms of family and friends. The weary warriors arrived last Wednesday at Fort Benning, Ga., the location where they were called to duty Feb. 2003, and were met by many of the loved ones they left behind in the defense of our country's war on terrorism.

We can only imagine the heartache the members of the Guard unit have felt the past year, not to mention the hardships their families have had to endure. The cost of freedom is high, not only in dollars and cents, but in human capital as well, and we sympathize with the families who have gone without their husbands, sons, daughters, fathers and mothers the last year.

The bottom line is that these people, who up until a year ago were average folks, just like us, were called upon to protect our freedoms and they deserve to be treated as returning heroes.

So what does the military do? They arrive at Ft. Benning expecting to be convoyed home on buses to find out they have to make other arrangements to get home.

In our opinion, that's a slap in the face from our government; the same government that asked these men and women to possibly make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. They deserve better.

We hope the 781st makes it home soon.