During the Thanksgiving Holiday, we get together with family and friends and make a point amongst ourselves to recognize what we are thankful for as the winter season approaches.
New Years Eve is different, we find ourselves in a personal space of reflection in these remaining hours, thinking about the accomplishments and failures, both personal and globally, as we set our sights to a new year full of promise.
We all have personal journeys that aren't all that different from each other. Family and friends have come and gone. We've lost loved ones and witnessed births. Our kids go off to college or come home with the fiancé.
But then theres the larger picture. Our economy is in a slump, people are unemployed, food pantries and meal services are seeing their numbers skyrocket. Past fuel prices pushed goods to an all time high and our housing market/assessments made living in New York State seem like a penalty.
A simple review in any news site for the disasters of the last few years will show you the horrors and the joys in many communities. Joys?
When tragedy strikes, you'll find a community truly comes together to help financially and emotionally.
But, If we look beyond our shores this year, You'll see another ground swell of community bonding as we watch countries where we are engaged, begin to flourish. Although Iraq has dominated the news for so long, we have forgotten about Afghanistan. [the real center of terrorism]
NOTE: A good number of our New York National Guard arrived in Albany a few days ago.
Through the efforts of family members, church groups, school campaigns and several municipal organizations, supplies were gathered and shipped to Camp Blackhorse, which is co‐located with the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) Pol‐e‐charki garrison nearby.
According to their website: The troops are part of Afghan Regional Security Integration Command‐Central (ARSIC‐ C.) This command provides advisors and mentors to the ANA and the Afghan National Police in this area as part of the Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix (CJTF‐Phoenix) mission to grow and develop Afghanistan’s National Security Forces (ANSF.) The SECFOR troops provide security for the trainers and mentors during operations and convoys.
So, while you are navigating this snowy New Years Eve terrain with family and friends, I simply remind you that there is much to ponder as we leave 2008 behind us. Within our City, our Hudson Valley region, within our country's borders and abroad, we've seen good and not-so-good.
Look out for each other, support those in need and lets make 2009 the most positive year yet!
* If you would like to track what accomplishments are made in areas of conflict through our military, you can check out :
Keeping Tabs...a weekly electronic newsletter produced by the HQ 27th BCT Public Affairs Section for family members and friends back home and is available on‐line through the NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs website at www.dmna.state.ny.us