Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Resiliency, Strength, Sacrifice

Resiliency, Strength, Sacrifice
By Rep. Kristi Noem
February 27, 2015

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014When a service member joins the military, their spouse and family serves beside them. And just as our military stand ready to respond to crisis here and abroad, their families must be prepared for their loved ones to be sent into harm’s way.

Last week, the Sioux Falls-based 1742nd Transportation Company of the Army National Guard received the 2014 Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Award. The Pentagon honors just one Army National Guard Company with this award each year. South Dakota has taken top honors each of the last three years. In 2013, the 235th Military Police Company in Rapid City was recognized, and in 2012, the 842nd Engineer Company in Spearfish was honored. Each of these awards is an incredible tribute that speaks to the integrity and value-system of the South Dakota National Guard and their leadership.
Demands over the last decade have demonstrated the critical role families play in mission success. More so than in previous military engagements, the War on Terror has required our men and women in uniform to be deployed multiple times, meaning far too many American troops have missed not only one Christmas, birthday or anniversary, but two, three or more. Family readiness for deployment, then, is essential. As one Naval Commander put it, deployment is “so much easier when you know that your spouse and your kids are all taken care of.”

For any of us, if there are financial or family problems at home, it can be next to impossible to concentrate on the work that must be done at the office. For men and women in uniform, that distraction could be a matter of life and death. As an Air Force Major wrote, “Without the support of the military family, I find it would be nearly impossible to be in a right state of mind to allow an individual to focus on mission accomplishment when the call comes.”

The most successful family readiness programs don’t start when the family finds out a loved one is going to be deployed. The most successful programs begin long before that and continue throughout the deployment and long after the service member returns home. That is something the 1742nd Transportation Company was recognized for last week.

I had the opportunity to help welcome the 1742nd Transportation Company home from their last tour in the Middle East. Seeing husbands, wives and children rush to their loved ones in uniform sent chills down my spine and tears to my eyes. The families in the auditorium that afternoon are resilient, strong, and courageous. I deeply respect each of them and admire their sense of duty. Each family there has made tremendous sacrifices so our guardsmen and women can defeat evil and protect the freedoms you and I exercise every day.

I will be forever grateful to our service members and their families for the sacrifices they’ve made.


One thought on “Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Resiliency, Strength, Sacrifice”

  1. wow glad you care where is your clean bill for mandatory funding for health care for all veterans who have served.If we can subsidze farmers surely we can take care of our vets.

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