Don’t forget the troops this holiday season

For most people, the holiday season is a time to forget fears, celebrate family and look forward to a new year. For the families of the local men and women who will be shipped off to Iraq next month, that may not be so easy. It is our view that in between sipping egging and snuggling under the mistletoe, we should all take a moment to celebrate the sacrifice these brave men and women are making.

Nearly 200 service members and their families gathered at the Terrebonne Civic Center on Saturday for a going-away dinner. They will be deployed for another tour in Iraq next month with the 2nd Battalion of the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Dozens of area residents came out in the cold to celebrate their sacrifice, and remind us that just because Thanksgiving is over, doesn’t mean we should stop giving thanks.

The departure of these troops should remind us that there are already mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and best friends who will not be with their loved ones this holiday. They’ll be busy protecting our freedoms and our way of life.

As the holiday draws near and the giving spirit consumes us, we should remember the gift that these soldiers give us. It seems that all to often, we forget the true spirit of the season. Rather than focusing on the hottest toy or a new flat-screen television, we should take a moment to reflect on what’s really important – our family and our freedoms. In other words, the very things our soldiers are fighting to protect.

Drop them a line or a gift. Let’s share the holiday.

The local Blue Star Mothers, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. will deliver cards to military bases, hospitals, veterans’ hospitals and other locations.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program received about 1.4 million cards last year, according to the Associated Press.

For guidelines on sending cards, visit

To reach the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana No. 2, contact Suzie Johnston at (985) 447-5200.

And to the local troops headed to war, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family this holiday season. God bless.