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At the ready at Christmas time

Local active duty military members will not be forgotten here at home

December 24, 2013
Tyler Star News

Serving here at home in America or on foreign soil during peace or war time, American Military men and women took a solemn oath to meet their responsibilities to their country every day, including holidays. Christmas, though it be the holiest of those holidays, is supposed to be just another day for those wearing the uniform of America's fighting forces.

Whether they are serving at a base in the United States performing regulation, daily routine work, or abroad at an American base performing the same duties or protecting and/or guarding against insurgents and uprisings, American military personnel are expected to uphold their responsibilities to their country and her people, regardless of the date on the calender.

In their honor, the Sistersville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6327 and Sistersville American Legion Post 67 are asking local residents to keep all veterans, especially those on active duty at this time, in their thoughts and prayers this Christmas.

"I don't care where you're at in the world, It's hard to be away from home at Christmas time," said Fred Clayton, commander of the VFW . "Our active duty military men and women are performing the greatest of services for all of us, and we want them to know they will always be remembered here at home."

"They're heroes, all of them," said American Legion Commander Roger Post. "It doesn't matter whether they are stationed here in the United States or overseas, we're proud of them and appreciate their service. If they can't make it home, they will certainly be missed. We'll all be thinking about them."

Both commanders say that cards, gifts, and letters to soldiers away from home are always most welcome by those on active duty, but there is just something sentimentally sad about not being at home during the Christmas holidays.

Fact Box

Local heroes on active duty

James Allen - National Guard

Steve Chaplin - U.S. Army

Anthony West - U.S. Army

Jodi Gaston - U.S. Army

Justin Gaiser - U.S. Army

Robert Koerber - U.S. Marines

Eric Jones - U.S Army

Michael Leasure - U.S. Army

Stacy Orr - U.S. Army

Steve Lindsey - U.S. Army

Douglas Reed - U.S. Army

Mercedez Goff - U.S. Army

Jason Casteel - U.S. Navy

Brandon Debruler - U.S. Marines

Adam Light - U.S. Air Force

Timothy Miller - U.S. Army

Aaron Adams - U.S. Marines

Frank Cafedo - U.S. Army

Leon Chovan, Jr. - U.S. Army

Patrick Conway - U.S. Army

Bryan Day, Sr. - U.S. Army

Jin O - U.S. Air Force

Jimmy Linville - U.S. Army

Jennifer Yost - U.S. Marines

Archie McGee - U.S. Army

Joe Parrish - U.S. Army

Sherrie Radloff - U.S. Army

Michael Reffitt - U.S. Army

Erik Rehaeume - U.S. Army

Derek Salvatore - U.S. Army

Jeffrey Shank - U.S. Army

Lee Cook - U.S. Marines

Nathan Thompson - U.S. Army

Gary Wallin - U.S. Army

Brandon Clegg - U.S. Army

Shawn Booher - U.S. Navy

Reginald Worthy - U.S. Army

Matthew Wright - U.S. Army

Julian Yost - U.S. Marines

Kyle Knowlton - U.S. Navy

Scott Fouchs - U.S. Army

Tim Spencer - U.S. Navy

Austin Fletcher - U.S. Marines

Heather Pickett - U.S. Navy

Joe Buck - U.S. Air Force

Eric Jones - U.S. Army

Daniel Howell - U.S. Army

Brandon Grimes - U.S. Air Force

Scott Clegg - U.S. Army

Aaron Stewart - U.S. Army

Daniel Howell - U.S. Army

Dane Gaiser - U.S. Air Force

Jill Steele - U.S. Army

Travis Miller - U.S. Marines

Neal Munoz - Army Reserves

Tony Worst - U.S. Army

"You want things to be normal, just for a day," Clayton said. "A lot of them are still very young. They'll be missing their parents, their brothers and sisters, friends, maybe their spouses as well as their own Christmas traditions at home. And people at home will be missing them."

"It's hard to look across that dinner table and know that one person is absent because they're serving in the military. It's just the thought of it that brings a lump to your throat."

"You know, it doesn't have to be war time," Post commented. "Those boys and girls on active duty deserve to be appreciated for their commitment, especially when they can't be home for Christmas. Home is where the heart is and when you're away you just miss everything about it."

Military families grow used to dealing with separation, but the holidays make those separations almost unbearable for both the soldiers and those left behind at home.

"We want to thank them for their service and let them know how proud we are of them," both commanders said.

The VFW and American Legion are asking that during this busy holiday season, we all pause for just a minute, to remember those local residents on active duty who will not be home this Christmas . . . and why.



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