The call of duty

By Observer editorial May 02, 2013 08:45 am

Many of us find it difficult to serve our communities. We struggle with time away from our families and our favorite TV shows.

Imagine, then, how much more of a challenge it is to serve our country, especially in a time when we are fighting a global war on terror.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lot has changed. For one thing, the National Guard has become more than just an organization that mobilizes occasionally to respond to local disasters such as forest fires and floods. The days of the weekend warrior, of serving one weekend a month, are ancient history. Since 9-11, the Guard has become part of the nation’s fighting force, or peacemaking force if you prefer, in the hunt for terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and others stirring up trouble worldwide.

As the face of today’s Oregon Army National Guard, you couldn’t do much better than Union’s Kevin Sheehy.

Sheehy, a colonel and a Union native, deployed to Iraq in 2004 and again in 2010. Now, he is preparing for a possible deployment next year to Afghanistan. 

Like many in today’s Guard, Sheehy and his family spent a lot of time apart, both the Guardsman overseas and the family at home serving their country in the most unselfish of ways. 

He’s not alone. More than 10,000 Oregon Guardsmen were deployed overseas between September 2001 and 2011.

Such unselfish service to our country should make us think twice about service to our community.