Over the past almost three years I have had the opportunity to write slightly over 200 articles about local service men and women. Believe it or not, the hardest thing has been finding the people to write about.
From Soldier to Civilian.."America is a Great Country"
Ronald Reagan once said, “No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.” Aaron Ross, whose mother, Nannette Ross, lives here in Rockwall, Texas, and whose father, Alvin, lives in Lufkin, Texas, is a good example of what former President Reagan was talking about.
On October 24, 2008, “The Military View” article appearing in this paper discussed a set of twin brothers from Rockwall, Dustin and Josh Odom. They graduated from high school in 2004 and one year later Dustin enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He was followed into the service by his brother Josh eight months later, but instead of the Marine Corps, Josh enlisted in the US Army.
“The Soldier above all others prays for peace for it is the Soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” While these words were once spoken by General Douglas Macarthur, many of our Soldiers now serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world where we are fighting the radical Islamic terrorists, would echo them today.
It’s hard to find ways to thank our servicemen and women no matter how hard we try. Sure, we can walk up to a person in uniform at the airport, stick out our hand, and tell them “Thanks for your service.” It means a lot to them but it doesn’t let each one of us really express how much we appreciate what they are doing for us Americans.
Do you remember when you were a little kid and your hero was featured on the cereal box cover of Wheaties or Corn Flakes? How you would sit at the breakfast table, look at the box and fantasize how great it would be when YOUR picture was put on that box for the great athletic achievement you had just accomplished! Sure, don’t be bashful, we all did it.
Each serviceman and woman serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is afforded a two week leave back in the States during their deployment. Each day a plane carrying close to 300 of these happy warriors arrives at DFW airport in Dallas and Hartsfield airport in Atlanta.
It was announced on March 8 that 12,000 combat troops would be pulled out of Iraq by the end of September and brought back to the States. Included in this total are two of the five Brigades that were sent to Iraq as part of the “surge” force. With the current plans, all combat forces are to be out of Iraq by mid 2010 and all forces out by the end of 2011. So will end, we hope, our saga in this Middle Eastern country.
Military and Civilian.."Still Serving Our Country"
Nathan Hagin, son of Terry Hagin of the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Department, went to Rockwall High School and then graduated from Lake Highlands High School in 2003. Today he is doing what he learned and trained for in the US Air Force.