Say ‘thanks’ as you welcome home the 900th soldiers

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, August 11, 2011

Welcome Home.

Those two words wrap up so many emotions, from relief to joy; appreciate to awe.

As the proud soldiers of the 900th Maintenance Company of Brundidge return today, thousands of Pike County residents will be welcoming them, in person and in spirit.

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These brave soldiers have spent nearly a year in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Along the way they have missed baseball championships and birthdays, holidays and deaths, quiet moments spent with loved ones and the opportunity to live quiet, comfortable lives.

Instead, they chose the greater portion – willing themselves to endure sweltering heat and harsh conditions as they did their part to protect the freedom and democracy we treasure here in Pike County. They chose to suffer so we might have a better life.

When we welcome them home today, we’ll do so with gladness and joy. Appreciating the opportiunity to once again have loved ones close at hand. The soldiers will celebrate, as well, the end of their service abroad and the opportunity to return to the comforts of home.

But amid the celebrating, we should remember the cause they defended: our freedom and our democracy. Whether or not you fully support American military policies in Afghanistan, you can fully support the men and women who are on the ground there, particulary our “citizen soldiers.” These are the people who are the backbone of our miltary effort, the ones who are sacrificing and suffering. They are the ones who deserve our thanks and our praise.

So welcome home, members of the 900th Maintenance Unit. We are grateful for all you’ve done and thankful you’re returning home safely to friends and loved ones.