Remember our veterans and their families

Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The men and women that serve in our military have a tough job. This statement is both an obvious fact and something that most don’t understand the full weight of.

They have signed up for a job that is just as likely to lead to a battle zone as it is to nothing. Some in the military never get deployed, while many are gone years.

This burden is also felt by their families and friends, who deserve our support just as much as those serving do.

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This past Friday, a student at W.O. Lance Elementary School received a special surprise at lunch, the return of his parents.

This student, Shameer Smith, has spent nearly a year separated from his parents, Gaston and Stacey Gibson, while they were deployed in Kuwait.

In the time they were apart, Shameer lived with his grandmother, Paulette Morse, and did what he could to take his mind off the issue.

But on Friday, he was surprised when he was called up to the stage in the school’s lunchroom. He turned around and was visibly shocked to see his mother. Not even a second had passed before arms were outstretched and tears were visibly
pouring down the cheeks of both mother and child.

Joined by Gaston, the family was reunited once again.

Moments like this remind us what is lost during a deployment. Families are split apart and friendships are put on hold.

Often the deployments are temporary, but for some they are not. We all should be mindful that for every child reunited with their parents, there are others left only with memories and photographs.

To the Shameer Smiths of the world, keep your loved ones in mind always and pray they will return home safely. We will do the same.

To the Gaston and Stacey Gibson’s, come home safe and sound.