National Guard familiy separated - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

National Guard familiy separated

September 11, 200

Albany -- In the attacks on America, thousands of people lost loved ones forever. Now, thousands others have lost family members to service for our country. And As America Remembers, the men and women who were called to defend this nation are still away from home.

Georgia National Guard Captain Jeff Dickerson serves daily at the Albany Armory. He coordinates the training schedule for his battalion office. On the one-year anniversary of September 11th, he and his wife are still separated by the war on terrorism.

Captain Dickerson said "We love our country. We're dedicated, we're loyal, and that's just one of the sacrifices we make."

Captain Dickerson was in Bosnia one year ago on September 11th. He returned to Albany when his company was recalled September 29th. But Dickerson's wife Maria , a Major in the Air National Guard, was called up to active duty and sent to Qatar in the Middle East.

Captain Dickerson said "We felt like we had done a lot in that one of us was deployed during the year prior. And then for the other half of our family to be deployed, it struck home."

Major Dickerson remains on active duty, but she has returned from Qatar and is stationed at Fort Stewart. The war on terrorism and September 11th has played a big part in the Dickersons' lives, keeping them apart most of the time. But Jeff says they know it's part of the price they must pay.

"It may sound hokey, but the soldiers that put on this uniform as National Guardsmen, are some of the most dedicated you will ever meet."

The National Guard stands ready if there is an invasion of Iraq. Captain Dickerson knows he and his wife could both be sent to the Middle East. But he says he is ready.

Captain Dickerson and most of the Second Battalion, 121st Infantry mechanized infantry command spent 9 months in Bosnia.

posted at 4:08 by jimw@walb.com