Keeping our side of the deal

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Thursday night, community leaders will gather at the National Guard Armory in Le Mars to sign a covenant of support for service members and their families in the community.

A Community Covenant is a formal affirmation of support by state and local communities to military service members and their families, whether Active, Guard or Reserve.

The program shows the commitment of the community to service members and includes the support to the families who live in the community.

A State Community Covenant was held at the Iowa State Fair in August 2009. At that time all communities were urged to conduct a local signing ceremony, especially in the cities where a National Guard Unit has been notified of an upcoming deployment, such as local Unit C Troop, 1st Squadron, 113th Inf., 34th Div.

More than 80 soldiers of C Troop were alerted for possible mobilization to Afghanistan in October 2009, part of the largest single unit call-up of the guard since World War II. More than 3,000 citizen-soldiers from Iowa are expected to mobilize as part of this deployment, which will affect nearly every Iowa community.

Members of C Troop have consistently answered the call to duty, whether it be in Kosovo, Iraq and now Afghanistan. Our citizen soldiers and their families have sacrificed a great deal, both personally and professionally for our nation.

The Community Covenant began as an Army initiative, with ceremonies evolving to include recognition of all service members and their families.

A covenant is defined by the dictionary as a solumn, binding agreement between two parties. The words of the covenant are important, but soldiers, family members and everyone in the community knows, actions are just as important as the words.

We are pleased that our nation has recognized that even if we don't agree on why troops are being deployed, we can and must unite and give support to the troops and their families. This recognition is vital to morale for the troops, their families, our community and nation.

We are proud to abide.