Every day Americans hear news about the possibility of going to war with Iraq and regularly learn of more troops being deployed.
For ROTC cadets at SHSU, many of those being sent abroad are people they know. The names and faces may be former cadets, people they have trained with or officers that have instructed them.
“Several of the department’s cadre (and many SHSU students) are in the U.S. Army Reserves,” said Lt Col. Alan Mooneyham, professor of military science at SHSU. “Because of that, they are subject to deployment in the event their unit is called upon by our country’s political leaders.”
Capt. Paul Lohmann, an officer who taught as SHSU, was notified to prepare for deployment in January.
An officer in the U.S. Army’s infantry, Lohmann was sent overseas in February. He and his family were just settling in and meeting new friends when they learned he was called to leave.
Lohmann is not the only one at SHSU to be deployed.
There are many students at SHSU who are in the U.S. Army Reserves, and have already been deployed or are preparing for possible deployment.
Former student and cadet Lisanne Glaude was notified of her unit’s possible deployment Jan. 13 of last year.
Glaude is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Civil Affairs. The main purpose of this branch is to rebuild the infrastructure of destroyed societies. The branch also works to keep civilians out of harms way and provides medical care, food and shelter.
Another former student and cadet Kenton Manion was notified of his unit’s deployment on Feb. 4. He left only a few days later on Feb. 7.
“I had to first and foremost notify everyone that I knew,” Manion said. “Then I had to make the appropriate arrangements with anything that had to do with property.”
Manion said he also had to notify the university and his teachers that he was leaving. He is currently serving with the 281st Transportation Company in Las Cruses, N.M.
Mooneyham said students at SHSU should not take their freedom for granted as the country is considering a possible war.
“America offers the greatest freedom in the world; don’t take it for granted,” Mooneyham said. “Whether we realize it or not, every American probably had someone in their distant family that sacrificed their life to obtain and preserve the freedoms we enjoy and take for granted today.”
There are many students on campus who are serving their country through military service. They may be members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserves, or Army National Guard.
Many of them may be making preparations to leave when their country asks them, ready to defend its freedoms and values.
Many cadets said the preparations are harder than the actual deployment.
Many things must be taken care of in the event that they must leave their families and friends for an extended period of time.
Those cadets who are students said deployment could interrupt a timeline they had planned in hopes of gaining a college degree. Others said the burden was making sure their families had the proper finances.
“I had already planned on taking this semester off from college to go to Louisiana on duty and did not have to unenroll from school,” Glaude said. “I was able to clear up some legal work concerning a personal matter in a more expeditious manner, and I was also fortunate to have someone I trusted to leave all my financial and personal matters to.
“I have said my goodbyes to friends and loved ones and I am spending all the time I can with them,” she said. “This is truly the longest goodbye.”
Mooneyham said students should not be afraid to take a military class because of the possible war.
“It’s important to remind students that students who signs up for military science classes are not joining the U.S. Army,” Mooneyham said. “Many students join to learn more about themselves. They want to learn discipline, leadership, and how to challenge themselves.
“After working with the staff and other cadets, many feel that this is the right thing for them and join the U.S. Army or other branch,” he said. “I encourage anyone who is interested in the program and what it can do for them to stop by and talk to someone, they can get questions answered and learn if this is where they want to be.”
For more information on the SHSU ROTC program visit its Web site at http://www.shsu.edu/~mls_www/ or call Capt. Wooten at 294-1298.