Keep all who serve close in our hearts

McGuire is a place for good-byes, joyful reunions

   Having McGuire Air Force Base in our coverage area creates mixed emotions.
   It’s heart-wrenching when families, friends and loved ones are forced to say good-bye to those they love who are in the military. For many people, the base can be a symbol of loss, the place of departure taking husbands, wives, siblings and parents into the very eye of war.
   But that very same base can be a symbol of thanks and joy when it becomes the setting of return, causing many to reflect upon the pleasure of welcoming their beloved back into their daily lives again.
   Relieved relatives and friends welcomed back 20 New Jersey reservists last week at the base. The cold, overcast evening could not compete with the warmth in their hearts for the returnees.
   Many of the reservists, from the 108th Air Refueling Wing, said they haven’t seen their families in months and said being back on American soil is simply indescribable.
   While it was joy for those welcoming back their reservists, others soon will feel the anxiety of separation. With some reservists from the 108th returning, others in the wing will be sent overseas to take their place. The reservists serve on a rotating basis for an entire year.
   So while we rejoice in the reunion of some, let us also have hope and positive thoughts for those who will be leaving us.
   As the constant ebb and flow of various emotions continues at the base, let us remember to appreciate the ones who are close to us, both in our hearts and in our vicinity. It is the least we can do.