The heartwarming story of Olivia Ericson in Friday’s newspaper should be a reminder to all Middle Georgians. Let’s start from the beginning. When Olivia went to school on March 21, her father, Lt. Col. Charles Ericson was home. When she returned from Northside Middle School that afternoon, her father was on his way to the skies over Libya with his J-STARS unit. For our military personnel, when the call comes to go, they have to go, this time at a moment’s notice without time to say goodbye.
This scenario is played out with each deployment, even the not so sudden ones. It’s difficult enough for adults to handle the pressures of suddenly becoming a single parent, what about the children who don’t really understand yet why daddy or mommy has to go away -- and not just go away -- but lunge head first into dangerous theaters of war.
Though the wars have dragged on for a decade, our communities can’t slack off when it comes to understanding and helping the families of our warfighters. We must constantly remember the sacrifices being made are not only made by our soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines. With each warfighter there are connections of family, friends and colleagues. With each connection, time is put on hold. That is particularly so with our National Guardsmen who are not full-time warriors, but sit next to us daily dealing with the same workday struggles as we do. Such is the case of The Telegraph’s Tim Anderson, a member of the 560 Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, 230 BSC. He and his fellow soldiers are eventually, after more training in the California desert, heading for Iraq. We wish him, and all of our war- fighters a safe return.
-- Charles E. Richardson, for the Editorial Board