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THE UNKNOWN SOLDIERS
Most of us take hugging our family members for granted. For thousands of American troops still serving in Afghanistan, however, writing a letter is as close as they can get to their loved ones.
"It's something physical it's the only thing physical that I can give to my family," Jackson said. "When they get my letter, they can hold it, touch it, and read the words that I have to say."
Jackson, who is serving at Bagram with the Air Force's 455th Expeditionary Wing, helps lead an emergency management team that's in place to respond to the worst disasters that could befall an American base during wartime, including terrorist attacks.
"Our responses are in chemical, biological, radiation material, and explosives," the airman said.
American troops in Afghanistan also need to be prepared for accidents. Jackson recently coordinated logistics for a large drill simulating a helicopter crashing into a dining facility at Bagram.
"It's very important for us to be ready," she said. "And it's very important out here because we need to be training in the environment we're going to be in if something were to happen."
As evidenced during nearly two years of constant campaigning, many politicians and pundits have turned the page on this war. But every single day, U.S. troops wake up on bases around Afghanistan and prepare for the worst, all while their families at home wait, wonder, and worry.
Regardless of popularity or political winds, however, our country continues to be blessed with selfless patriots like Senior Airman Angela Jackson, who deploy to Afghanistan so the rest of us don't have to. But even though she's fully committed to her mission, the brave airman still looks forward to coming home.
"I'm planning on seeing all my family and my friends, and getting back into the work environment," she said.
Now that the presidential election is over, it is time for all of us to get back to the important work of supporting our troops. America is still at war.
Tom Sileo is a columnist for Creators Syndicate.