Fort Polk Guardian 11-08-2019-2

Viewpoint 2/ Guardian Nov. 8, 2019 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. Ryan K. Roseberry Garrison commander Kim Reischling Public affairs officer Chuck Cannon Command information officer Angie Thorne T.C. Bradford Keith Houin 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: FORT POLK, La. — In 2011, dur- ing the July 4 holiday, the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall made its first visit to DeRidder. Today through Monday, the Wall will make its sec- ond appearance in DeRidder, and the Fort Polk Family should make it a point to visit this awe-inspiring monument to those who paid the ul- timate sacrifice in battle. During its first visit, I was as- signed to cover the event, take pic- tures and write a story about the Wall and the reactions of those who stopped by for a visit. Some came out of curiosity, some for its histor- ical reference, but most to reach out a hand and place a finger on the name of a friend, Family member or fellow Soldier — a final chance to touch someone who meant so much to them. I witnessed teenagers with their grandfathers, listening as they were told of the exploits of a Soldier whose name appeared on the shiny façade. They heard tales of heroes who placed themselves in harm’s way to protect their comrades. I saw young men and women with their mothers, searching — and finding — the name of their daddy, a man many of them never had the chance to know, then listening as their mom explained that not only was their dad a hero, he would have also been a fantastic father if he had only been given the chance. There were men in their 60s and 70s, gazing at a name on the Wall for several minutes, tears welling up in their eyes, thinking back to when they, too, to quote noted journalist and author Joe Galloway, “Were Sol- diers, once, and young.” Those same men, shoulders heav- ing with sobs, pulled out scraps of paper and stubs of pencils, and cre- ated rubbings of the names of their fallen brothers in arms, perhaps to place in a wallet or notebook to be carried forever, or until they them- selves were laid to rest. They left me- mentos by the names of their loved ones: Flowers, medals, notes, photos and flags. What began as an assignment, turned into an opportunity for me to see how the bonds between Soldiers transcend time, distance and even death. The Soldiers whose names ap- peared on the Wall died more than 40 years ago, yet their visitors re- membered them as if they had just seen them yesterday. As I watched the scenes play out before me I was reminded of a song by the Statler Brothers: “More Than a Name on a Wall.” The song is about a mother who goes to see her son’s name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The chorus says: “She said, ‘Lord my boy was spe- cial, and he meant so much to me. And oh, I’d love to see him just one more time you see. All I have are the memories and the moments to recall. So Lord could you tell him he’s more than a name on the wall.’” For those I saw visiting the Mov- ing Wall on that July day more than eight years ago, their attention was focused on much more than just names on a wall. The Moving Wall is located at the DeRidder War Memorial Civic Cen- ter, 250 West Seventh St. The Fort Polk community should not pass up the opportunity to pay a visit to this stark reminder of the 58,220 young men and women who died on a bat- tlefield half a world away. Today’s Soldiers are part of an Army Family that continues to an- swer the call of its nation to battle those who would deny others free- dom. This is a chance to thank those forebears who gave all they had. MovingWall worth visit for Soldiers, Families By CHUCK CANNON Command information officer Commentary In our view Guardian staff asked Fort Polk community members, “If Hollywood made a movie about your life, what genre would it be, who would play your role and why?” Here are their responses: Amanda Pete: "It would be a science fiction movie and I would be played by Zoe Saldana be- cause I am a ninja force to be reckoned with." Sgt. Charles Simon Mcentee: "I think comedy with Dwayne Johnson as me. I use humor a lot to get the job done." Sgt. Lucy Avila: "Definitely a telen- ovella (Spanish dra- ma). I would be played by Eva Mendes because my family say i look like her." Leah Williams: "A comedy Lego movie and I would be voiced by Scarlett Johann- son because when my hair is dyed red I pretend I am thinner and relive my youth.” Advertising For advertising contact Theresa Larue ( )