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Editorial for April 8, 2004

This week, two White Salmon residents will be among the military men returning from overseas service in Iraq and Kuwait.

After more than a year of dangerous duty, Kevin Wilson and Kit Wangelin, members of the Army's 162nd Infantry Battalion, are coming home. They are expected back in town this Saturday, and they will be reunited with their families.

These men, and thousands of other military men and women, volunteered to serve their nation's call in what they all realize can be a very hazardous profession.

For that reason and many others, we welcome them back home with pride, appreciation, and support.

Many in the community are organizing a show of support for these men returning from the war, including displays of yellow ribbons and American flags.

That's really the least we can do to show that we care.

As the newspaper of record in this community, we want to add our voice in honor and appreciation of the service and sacrifices made by those serving our country in the military.

We are blessed to live in a free society, a society that has been protected by brave men and women in uniform for more than two centuries. And to be sure, there have been honest differences of opinion raised -- here in White Salmon and across the country -- about whether the war in Iraq was the proper course for our nation to follow in the context of waging war on global terrorism.

Our military professionals, however, don't have the luxury of debating the orders they are given. They follow their directives, and have been bravely executing the job they've been assigned to handle. Obviously, it has been a dangerous task in a hostile environment.

Regardless of political viewpoints, all the men and women who have been serving -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else where violence can come without warning -- have earned our respect for tackling a very difficult job far from home.

Welcome home. And thanks, from all of us.



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