Morale is high for soldiers

Editor’s Note: This email was received from Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe, whose unit was called to Germany in January. Lowe is a major in the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army. It was written in response to an email from the Reporter asking about his status.

&uot;Busy&uot; is an understatement! I go to bed exhausted just

about every night. I’m still in Germany but will most likely be

deployed to another place in the very near future.

Up until five days

ago, I was the OIC (Officer In Charge) of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

As such, I was responsible for receiving, responding to

and tracking high priority requests from units deploying or deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

These requests thus far have

included construction materials, ammunition of all sorts and enhanced &uot;J-LIST&uot; (Joint Services Light Integrated Suit Technology) chemical protective suits &045; just to name a few of the requests.

Being in such a position as I am, I can easily see that the activity of combat troops and support troops increases with each day.

In my opinion, unless a significant and unexpected event occurs, tens of thousands of members of the U.S. Armed Forces will expand our war on

terrorism to include the country of Iraq.

Due to upcoming actions, I

was reassigned to lead a team in another country, beginning in a few days.

For obvious reasons, I can’t share any of the information I receive on a daily basis that regards this inevitability, but I can say our military leaders are extraordinarily well-trained and have made plans that are near genius in their creation and looming execution.

Morale here is as high or higher than I have ever seen it.

Though called away from families, jobs, careers and other commitments, every soldier here believes in our country’s cause and has endured bitterly cold surroundings in a fashion that brings great credit to our nation and our hometowns.

There are several just in my unit from our fine county who are true professionals and fine examples of citizen soldiers.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Hulsey and Sgt. Maj. Ward Hairelson, both of Shelby, are role models for other soldiers in

the manner of leadership they have shown as they continually support our troops in the field.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Hornsby of Chelsea has worked practically nonstop from the time we first arrived on a project that is extremely vital to a combat unit’s survivability in battle, and the soldiers that he leads have complete respect for the knowledge and experience he imparts to them by being a natural leader.

Spec. Joseph Smith of Helena is nothing less than a true workhorse. He, along with fellow soldiers and noncommissioned officers, have provided security for hundreds of soldiers, as well as tirelessly working to ready equipment for future deployments in the coming weeks.

There are others from Shelby County who serve with me who are accomplishing their missions with the spirit, integrity and discipline that one would usually expect from seasoned active duty troops who train beside one another day after day, year after year. Let everyone who asks know that they can be proud of these husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers and mothers who value the protection of our nation over their personal comforts.

I will write more at a later time. Very likely, it will be from a different location with weather and landscape much different than that of this beautiful country, Germany.

Please continue to keep our unit, our families and our country in your daily prayers. God willing, we’ll see you soon