Tuesday, November 27, 2007



Originally sent out 04/01/2005

Hello again South Walton, glad to be around again in one form or another. My name is Staff Sergeant M*****, US Army infantry squad leader A.K.A. Lieutenant Paul M***** South Walton Fire department. I have been afforded the privilege by the Sun of writing a column following my task force as it prepares to deploy to the Middle East.
This is an honor I don't take lightly. With all the media focus on the death and destruction surrounding the war on terror I thought it would be educational if not enlightening to have a first hand look at the war from a different perspective, say a grunts eye view. Down here where the leather, canvas and sweat mingle and the long hours of the day blend all too easily into the night. I hope I can take you with me- to see though my eyes. I'll show you the pride, dedication, and love shown by so many soldiers young and old.
Our mission is training the Afghanistan National Army to be an independent fighting force able to protect its borders and citizens from outside or internal aggression. After two decades of high intensity warfare there is little left of any infrastructure in any major city much less in the outer lying areas. We hope to assist in rebuilding schools and other small projects near our area while not on combat operations. These people need our help. By no means are we the only ones sacrificing however.
I thought my decade of Army training had prepared me for another deployment to foreign soil only to be blindsided by a heart attack. Not the E.R. lights and siren type I'm used to responding to but the one that comes when saying goodbye to the ones you love. How do you tell a five and a one year old you love more than life itself you’re leaving them? The Army doesn't have a manual for that. The wives, mothers, children and families of these men and women, the finest America has to offer, suffer and sacrifice along side us. Each holding their own silent vigil awaiting a warrior’s return. Remember them as much as us in your prayers. The days weeks and months ahead will be difficult and challenging for all of us. I look forward to sharing this mission with you. So, using the infantry’s motto "Follow Me"

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