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Going Off to War

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The scene of uniformed men and women heading off for prolonged military duty and potential war is always sobering.

News coverage in recent weeks has provided moving images of the emotional farewells. The hugs! The tears! The longing glances! Yes, the sight of reservists and Utah National Guard soldiers actually shipping out brings the prospect of war much closer to home.

Such deployments are not uncommon for Utah’s "weekend warriors." A sixth or fifth or fourth tour of duty to the Middle East is not an unusual claim for some members of the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base. And in the last decade, many guard personnel have repeatedly left the comforts of home to provide support in a variety of ways for Uncle Sam’s military needs.

For those loved ones left behind, it’s never easy. Along with the emotional trauma of separation and the future’s uncertainty comes the reality for some families of coping with significantly less income as jobs and careers are put on hold.

As the call-ups continue and war looms, KSL acknowledges the professional commitment of Utah’s part-time soldiers. We also think of the sacrifices of those left behind. And we issue a plea to the neighbors, friends and colleagues of those deployed to provide the support systems that will ease the burdens of going off to war.

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