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Regarding Harvey: Please consider the soldiers

As our nation focuses on helping the people and animals struggling to survive and slowly move toward some sort of normalcy in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the unprecedented flooding it forced those is its path to contend with, I have a simple yet urgent request: Please pray for the deployed members of our military. Please do not forget them!

I do not think that most Americans are aware of or understand the tremendous amount of psychological and emotional stress that a catastrophic casualty like this heaps upon their already overburdened shoulders. I know, I witnessed it and felt it 12 years ago while on duty in the vast and lonely Al Anbar Province of Iraq as Hurricane Katrina tore through the southeastern United States.

Many of the men and women that were deployed at that time had family and/or homes caught in the path of Katrina.

Imagine for a moment that you are on patrol in Iraq, Afghanistan or any number of locations around the globe that our military personnel stand at the ready. Many are in imminent danger around the clock and the pressure, anxiety and the ever-present mental and physical strain of keeping themselves and members of their unit alive and in one piece to return home when their portion of the mission is complete. Now just think of the stress and anguish of knowing that your loved ones back home were in Harvey’s crosshairs and there is not a damn thing that you can do about.

That “distraction” can and I am sure has cost limbs and/or lives. Many were in the field before Harvey hit and do not know if their loved ones were impacted or how. Many will go out on mission not yet knowing if their loved ones are safe or if their home is still there to return to when their tour is over.

While our nation’s best is on the job stateside to rescue those still in jeopardy and provide medical care, food, clothing and shelter to those displaced by the devastating storms, please pray for those deployed away from their families and even as they “have your back” so that you may sleep a little easier at night, stand in the gap and cover their backs at home.

Please pray for the deployed member and reach out to a military family and care for them as your own because at the end of the day all we really have is each other and again in our nation’s times of tragedy we will prove it to be true, that we are One Nation Under God!

Thank you, God bless you and … be safe!

R. Kevin Wierman, Mill Spring, N.C.