Support the families of our soldiers

Conflict in the Middle East has taken on new meaning for West Virginians, as well as some of our neighbors in Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina.

On Friday, state officials were joined by hundreds of other people in Charleston in a ceremonial send-off for more than 500 West Virginia National Guard members. They are part of the 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment. They are going first for training in Texas — then to Kuwait.

These are not rear-echelon troops. The 150th will be joining the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team in Kuwait.

No one can say what will befall the 150th. Being stationed in Kuwait does not mean the unit will not be called upon for dangerous duty.

Nearly all the 150th’s soldiers are West Virginians, though some are from other states. Regardless of where they live, the prayers of Mountain State residents go with every one of them.

Sacrifice will not be limited to members of the 150th, however, as was pointed out during Friday’s Yellow Ribbon Ceremony. Members of their families will be spending months without them.

West Virginians owe them all the support we can provide — in every way — too. Life becomes more difficult for the spouses of those deployed, as well as for their children. Their needs should be met to the very best of our abilities because, in a very real way, they, too, are serving our country. Our communities cannot replace those whose presence is missed — but we can help.