From Overseas


    I am a military dependent who has spent the majority of my life living outside the United States. My father has been a Chaplain in the Army for a period greater than 25 years. While I don’t want to bring offense to those students or families who have family members serving in the reserves, I do want to say, they need to stay – we need them. Unless you have lived in or close to a land where war has erupted, you will never fully know the danger posed by terrorist activities and potential attacks, or how effective reserve soldiers are at preserving our safety.

    While it is easy to understand that families wish to see their loved ones, realize that they are serving a better cause than merely performing guard duty. I have interacted with these young and middle-aged soldiers. I have seen the frustration and pain in their eyes.

    They often serve 12-hour shifts. However, many fail to realize that their pain compares so slightly with that of the soldiers of military bases around the world, following the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Many installations in Europe were put on total lockdown with active duty soldiers standing guard. These soldiers were not performing 12-hour shifts but rather multiple day and week shifts. They were our protection from potential threat. These soldiers hardly saw their families who were living only minutes away. As dependents, we also saw our fathers’ and mothers’ desperate need for a break.

    Being in the military means doing what is asked of you. Everything that is done has a purpose.

    Guard duty is a serious business to dependents. Having a soldier lying prone with a mounted M-60 in your backyard, having car inspections that cause multiple kilometer traffic jams, and not going to school because of potential terror risk is serious security. Who in Provo can recall the time, a year after Sept. 11, when a major military installation in Germany was the target for a (foiled) terrorist attack?

    We need the reservist soldiers. Without them, the active duty military personnel cannot complete their tasks effectively. Many families will miss their loved ones, stationed overseas, but their joining the reserves meant more than an extra paycheck.

    It means an actual, physical duty outside of a weekend a month, two weeks a year.

    It will take time before they come home because there is much left to do.

    What they do brings comfort and support to those who live overseas.

    Please be patient. They are our protectors as well as yours.

    Adam Roggia

    Mannheim, Germany

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