Support for troops, their families vital

Word came this last week that 150 soldiers from the Delaware National Guard are being called up as part of President George W. Bush’s “surge” of troops in Iraq. Among them is Jason Bergman, who likely has been best known in this community as one of Fenwick Island’s police officers.

Bergman was also one of the National Guard members who responded to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and told the Coastal Point the story of those devastated towns when he returned. Back home in Fenwick Island, he organized an effort to help provide needed supplies for his fellow officers in that area and their devastated departments.

Now, Fenwick Island is focusing on Bergman and his family, as he prepares to head off to Baghdad on June 18. He’ll leave behind wife Anna and their 9-year-old daughter as he heads into dangerous territory, “hand-picked” for the duty because of his experience as a military policeman.

Those he protects in Fenwick Island are working to raise funds to buy phone cards that will allow Bergman to call home to his wife and daughter while he is deployed. Hopes are that not only will there be plenty of phone time accumulated for Bergman to call home but also for him to be able to share with members of his unit so that they, too, can call home to their loved ones.

This effort just goes to show that what goes around comes around – Bergman’s efforts to help those in need in the Gulf Coast, and his efforts to protect citizens of Fenwick Island every day, are being repaid with caring for him and his family. The same sympathy and caring he showed for Gulf Coast residents and their police forces is coming full circle for his own family.

We wish Jason Bergman and his compatriots all the best for their safe tours and hope they will be home soon and safely. We also extend to their families our warmest wishes and deepest support.

Regardless of how any of us feel about the war in Iraq, or war in general, or how the soldiers themselves feel about their assigned duties, they’re doing the job they’ve dedicated themselves to and deserve the full support of everyone here at home. The same goes for their families.

This week, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, let’s think not only of our own mothers but of the military moms who are themselves assigned to duties away from their children, in harm’s way, and of the mothers who go it alone at home while their partners are performing duties far away.

These families are an important part of our community and deserve every bit of help and support that we can provide to them. They go out of their way to provide for our nation. And if a hug, letter, care package, offer of babysitting or phone card can make their burden a little easier, that’s something we should all be willing to offer.