Stand behind our troops #045; regardless

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Tribune staff

This weekend, several Lawrence County residents will say "goodbye" to their loved ones - not knowing when they will see them again.

On Saturday morning, members of the 1257th Transportation Company of the West Virginia National Guard will depart for Camp Atterbury, Ind., as part of the mobilization of troops in preparation for possible war in Iraq. Many more families already have loved ones overseas, knowing now they are potentially in harm's way as President Bush made it clear Monday night that use of military force in Iraq is all but imminent.

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As hard as it may be for some to accept, these young men and women are preparing for what could be Gulf War II. Let it be known, though, that these individuals did not make the foreign policy, but they must carry it forward. It is the oath they accepted when they joined the armed forces.

Those who oppose war need to keep that in mind. You do not have to be in support of war to wholeheartedly support our troops. In the coming days and weeks, we will see numerous people marching in protest. At the same time, though, thousands of troops will be marching up various hills and dunes in the Middle East.

Perhaps Saddam Hussein and his sons will heed the president's warning and will leave the country. Maybe they will be marching down one side of the hill when our soldiers are marching up the other side. In a fantasy world, this would be the ideal scenario, but realistically speaking, it probably will not happen.

"War has no certainty," President Bush said as he gave Saddam

his ultimatum Monday night. He is correct -

grave risk exists in any military conflict. And, unfortunately, that is one of the terrible aspects of war - some of the most noble men and women tend to pay the ultimate price.

All Americans can do now is hope for the best. While we are not fans of the use of military force to settle conflict, standing idle could yield grave results.

Just remember, no matter what your stance is on the situation in Iraq, keep the troops and their families in your prayers.