From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Debating the merits of why we're there is one thing; supporting the soldiers who are fighting our country's battles is another.
That's what makes events like Saturday's rally for National Guard members in Pullman so refreshing to see.
About 80 members of the community gathered in Reaney Park to show their support for the 2,800-member 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, which will be headed back to Iraq sometime this fall. It will be the second tour of duty for several of the Guardsmen, who lead normal lives as our neighbors, friends and co-workers until they're called to duty.
We should take every opportunity to thank those who honor their oath to defend our country and put their lives on the line to protect the ideals we as a nation hold dear - before, during and after their deployment.
They'll leave behind their loving spouses and children, proud parents and grandparents - essentially everything they hold dear - to do Uncle Sam's bidding.
We can and should acknowledge their sacrifices, regardless of the circumstances that led to their deployment.
Matthew Holt, 28, recalled receiving letters from supporters in Pullman during his first stint in Iraq.
"It really meant a lot," said the Pullman resident. "Public support is really important."
Fortunately this generation of soldiers hasn't seen the vitriol aimed at returning soldiers from the Vietnam War, many of whom were drafted into the military and saw no reasonable choice but to answer the country's call.
The current war is no less controversial, but the public seems to better understand the plight of soldiers in our nation's armed forces.
You don't have to agree with the war to support those who are fighting it.