Support our guard unit on Friday night

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

On Friday, Aug. 19, Luverne and Crenshaw County will bid an official farewell to 25 men who call this city and county home. Members of the 117th and their families will be on hand to participate in a ceremonial goodbye from our mayor, city council, county officials and the public. Tears will be shed, handshakes will be extended, and hugs will be shared, as our bravest heads north to Indiana for training then across the Atlantic to Iraq.

This marks the first mobilization of the 117th since the Korean War, testament to the historical nature of this occasion.

In two to three months, the men of the 117th will touch down in the lion's den, cutoff from all physical contact with their loved one. They will, however, have each other to lean on. Let's pray that all come back to Luverne alive and well.

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In the meantime, we should prepare to give them a grand send-off at 7 p.m on Friday. The public should turn out in droves at Douglas Park to let this group of men know how much we're behind them. Merchants and individual homeowners should proudly display the American flag to welcome our soldiers as they enter Luverne en route to the park. And don't forget the yellow ribbons.

As Tammie Roper, Family Readiness Chairperson for the unit said recently, it seems that two years into the war in Iraq we've forgotten our soldiers and the sacrifices they've had to make in the name of freedom. It appears our communities are only occasionally marked by the yellow ribbon fixed to a mailbox or the American flag waving proudly from a front porch post. The massive show of patriotism and national spirit that was evident in the days following 9-11 is missing.

Rally around the troops, Luverne and Crenshaw County.

Then step back and pray for their safe and eventual return.