Fort Polk Guardian 03-08-2019

Viewpoint 2/ The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Jarrett Thomas II Garrison commander Kim Reischling Public affairs officer Chuck Cannon Editor Jean Dubiel Angie Thorne Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Trading post ads: Fort Polk Homepage Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: Guardian March 8, 2019 In our view Guardian staff asked Fort Polk residents, “Are you a career Soldier or is the Army a step toward something else?” Here are their responses: Sgt. Sergio Alas: "It is definitely a step to- ward another career path. I plan to get out of the military eventu- ally and get a civilian job and go to school as well." Spc. Ricardo Ay- ala: "The leadership skills we learn in our jobs can defi- nitely apply to the civilian sector, so I see the Army as a big stepping stone." Spc. Christian Richardson: "I'm still in the middle about that. (The Army) is a good start, especially for young people just getting out of school. It teaches you leadership and time management." Pvt. Jeffery Schnei- der: "I don't know yet. I like using what we have available to us through the Army, like tuition assistance and classes. It's a stepping stone for now until I can de- cide if I want to make it a career or not." FORT POLK, La. — It’s a question that’s been asked for as long as peo- ple have asked questions: Why do bad things happen to good people? We talked about this very subject in my Sunday School class this week, and my thoughts immediately turned to Drake Quibodeaux, an 8- year-old youngster who is suffering from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma — commonly known as DIPG — a highly aggressive and difficult to treat tumor located at the base of the brain. If ever there was a “bad thing” happening to a “good person,” this is it. From what his parents have shared with me, Drake is a typical 8- year-old boy who enjoys the out- doors, especially fishing and hunting with his dad and brothers. He loves riding four wheelers, shooting and most things kids his age enjoy. The Michael Mosier Foundation, dedicated to finding cures for brain stem cancers, reports that while medical advances in the past 40 years have greatly improved the sur- vival rates of children diagnosed with most types of cancer, that’s not the case for those affected by DIPG. A child diagnosed with DIPG today faces the same prognosis as a child diagnosed 40 years ago. There is still no effective treatment and no chance of survival. Less than 1 percent of children with DIPG survive for 2 years following their diagnosis. The median survival time is 9 months from diagnosis. Drake was diagnosed about 1 year ago, meaning that statistics say the young- ster is running out of time. But you’d never know it by visit- ing with him and his family. They are confident that their son, brother, nephew, will be cured. Even Drake has told his mom, as she daily fights back the tears and despair that any mother would battle, “Don’t worry or cry. God’s got this. It will be OK.” Watching Drake and his family members as they paid a visit to Fort Polk March 1, where Drake was giv- en the oath of enlistment and made General of the Army at Fort Polk for the day, I was taken back to a time nearly 30 years ago as I prepared to head to an assignment in Germany. My spouse, Susan, son, Justin, and I paid a visit to my grandmother at the nursing home she had been in for a few years. She was elderly and frail and we knew she probably did- n’t have long to be with us. As we got up to leave, she asked, “Where is your next assignment?” My mother said, “They’re going to Germany.” In that instant, I could tell by the look on my grandmother’s face that she knew in her heart she would never see me again. The same feeling passed over me during Drake’s visit. His mother said that his strength was ebbing and this was probably his last trip. She said hospice has been called in. And again, I wonder, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” While getting ready for work March 4, I heard of the tornado out- break in Alabama on March 3 that claimed at least 23 — some of them small children. As a Christian, I know there are things I don’t understand now, that one day I will. But that doesn’t make me wonder any less or ease the pain today. I’m just glad I was able to cross paths and make friends with Drake and his family. I’ll not forget them or how they faced this trial with courage and faith. I’m glad Fort Polk could provide this day for you, General Drake, and I pray that against all odds, we’ll see you again. Why do bad things happen to good people? By CHUCK CANNON Guardian editor Commentary For advertising contact Theresa Larue ( ) E ail: sales