Votes will keep me from attending the Macon, Forsyth or Dublin ceremonies honoring the soldiers and families of those Georgia National Guard members that will be deploying to Afghanistan this summer. I’ll certainly be seeing you soldiers again before you leave or when you are in Afghanistan. So, as I have in other deployment ceremonies, let me speak directly to the families and loved ones you leave behind.
Your soldiers are going to train and mentor Afghan security forces. They may have to fight, but that is not their principle mission. We want them to keep their heads down and come home safely. They will pay more attention to their safety, to the safety of their fellow soldiers and to their jobs if they know you are okay at home. So I want each of you to have a “Just say yes” campaign.
People will ask you if there is any way they can help. Or they will be more subtle and ask you over or to go shopping with them or any number of other things. You are self sufficient and do not want to impose on others. After all, you’re an American, so you will naturally be inclined to say “No Thanks” when someone makes offers like this. Instead, just say “Yes.”
All Georgia citizens can contribute to the success of our soldiers’ missions by trying to support soldier families and loved ones in many different ways, even just being company. But Georgians do not want to impose on you. If you say “No” to their direct and indirect offers, they won’t keep bugging you. So say “Yes” right away, even if you’re not that interested or it’s a bit of a hassle or you don’t feel you need any help. Take every opportunity to develop supportive relationships with your friends and fellow citizens who want to help you and your soldier. And let your soldier know you are doing this so your soldier is less likely to worry about you.
Families and loved ones of deploying soldiers serve Georgia and America. We thank you for your sacrifice. We want to help. Let us do that.
God bless and keep safe both you and your soldier.
Rep. Jim Marshall