THE PILOT EDITORIAL - Guard call-ups

Monday, October 8, 2001

In a place like Storm Lake, it is hard to fathom the impact of terrorism strikes, and how they will change the comfortable societal groove we have been in for years now in this most fortunate of nations.

Sure, we bring you stories of local people who barely escaped the carnage in New York and Washington, we have brought you photos from the scenes, and even this week, stories from a volunteer working at the World Trade Center site. It seems far away, other-worldly. Nothing in our experience prepares us for attack on our own soil.

It begins to hit home now as one by one, local Army and Air Guard servicepeople are called away. Thankfully, so far it is in security and support roles, not combat.

We can see now that this situation will change everything. It's hit home now, as we watch neighbors, friends and even a couple of our local policemen say goodbye to their jobs and families for who knows how long.

They have always known it could happen. They have been well-trained for just this, and worse. They have given up their weekends and part of their summers to train for their country before; they are prepared to give whatever is required in the months to come.

We have to support them. Help out the family in the neighborhood left without a husband, father, son or daughter in the home. Make sure their jobs are held for them when they come back, as the Storm Lake Police Department has done. Be unified in backing the job they have to do, whatever it may be before this is done. We can argue the politics, we can protest force or lack of it if we please; but we can never question the people soldiers who execute those orders to protect us.

We've always been proud of the citizen soldiers who are based out of the Storm Lake armory, and those locals who work with several other units.

But now, we can really feel it grab at our hearts as we watch them hug their families goodbye.

It isn't a bad dream. It's really happening. It's hit home now. Godspeed to all those among us who have been called to serve, and those who await the ringing of the phone tonight, and the mission that may be to come.