Citizen soldiers leave families and careers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Citizen soldiers leave families and careers

February 9, 2005

Fort Stewart--  The soldiers of the Georgia National Guard are everyday people. They are our neighbors, our doctors, our pharmacists and factory workers.

But when they are called up for duty, their lives and their jobs are put on hold. That’s why it's so important that employers support their workers who are citizen’s soldiers.

One soldier from Cordele, Michael Morgan, knows that first hand.  Whether he's on the war front, or the factory floor, "Mike's as good as they come," says Marvair President Paul Mechler.

Staff Sergeant Michael Morgan is the man for the job. "It's important to me to continue for us to have freedom."

Morgan's commitment to the Georgia National Guard is mirrored in his commitment to his civilian job at Marvair in Cordele. "Once we raised our hand, they called on us and we've got to go do a job."

He has an important job at the air conditioning plant. "Mike's been with us many, many years," says his boss. "He works directly for the plant manager and manages one of the key lines in the plant."

But now, he's commander of a Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle.

For 16 years, he's taken time off from Marvair to serve in the Georgia National Guard. "As far as the military, they're all for it." Morgan said.

"He's giving up so much and doing so much for the American public, in this case for the Iraqi people, that it doesn't matter how inconvenient it may be for us, we'll do whatever we have to do filling his slot until he gets back," said Mechler.

 "It lets me know that someone is standing behind me,” said Morgan.  And, with a wife and five children, "That's good to know that someone cares about you other than your family," said Morgan.

A family that will be taken care of in Morgan's absence. "Their families are staying behind while they're going overseas, and we need to be available for the families, provide them support, help them out on something that the employee might have done if they were still here," said the Marvair chief.

While Michael Morgan may be a little nervous about going to the Middle East, Having a job when he comes back home is one less thing he'll have to sweat.

"I say I'm nervous, but that's a common thing that will come. But we have a job to do and to go on and do that job and come back home safely,” said Morgan.

"His job will be here no matter what,” Mechler said.

posted at 9:55PM by dave.miller@walb.com