The Ever Changing Face of the Reserve Forces

The Ever-changing Face of the US Military Reserve Forces

My name is Vernon Davidson Jr. I live in Scott City, MO. I joined the Cape Girardeau Navy Reserve Seabee Detachment in June of this year. We have a great unit with outstanding leadership within our detachment as well as our fleet reservists. We have an outstanding staff of active duty personnel, who work hard to support us.
The reason I'm sending this is to convey some idea of how the average military reservist's role has evolved. In times past, the "weekend warrior" image was viewed as a group of part-time soldiers earning college money and getting together on the occasional weekend. In the past several years, the US military has undergone a phase of enormous downsizing. This has affected the roles of the reservist in two very important ways. First, as proven by the Gulf War, the likelihood of being called to serve in times of war and crisis has increased greatly. This has lead to much better training and readiness opportunities. Second, the reserve forces are benefiting by gaining experienced, seasoned prior active service veterans, who have training in various areas. Training is a very valuable asset both to the unit and the individual. Another valuable asset is an employer who fully understands and supports the service member's needs, when called to train or serve.
I am anxious and excited to be receiving my training as a CE3 (Construction Electrician), a Seabee, early next year. In the meantime, I'm itchin' to do whatever I can to serve my country in the best way I can. I am prior-service Army (ETS Date: Jan 2, 1996) with extensive training in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense. I served, as a 54b-20, as the NBC-NCO for the 1st Battalion 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division for three years on active duty. Part of my duties were plotting the range and dimensions of contamination from chemical, biological and radiological attack as well as training the members of my unit in how to protect themselves. Along with my CBR experience, I have trained in light infantry warfare as well as counter-terrorism. I had a secondary MOS of 95B Military Police from my enlistment, serving with the 1137th MP company in Kennett, MO. As a civilian, I am a proud United States Postal employee, APWU member, husband, father of two and patriot of our great country. I am just one among the many Reservists and National Guardsmen in the Heartland.
The bottom line is, should the call come, we are here ready and eager to serve.

To those who out of fear turn their anger toward the innocent, all Americans share the frustration you feel. However, you must keep in mind the terrorists' goals to disrupt the American way of life and bring attention, if not agreement, to their cause.

We learned a valuable lesson from Pearl Harbor. Taking Japanese Americans from their homes and places of business and placing them in concentration camps was not exactly the American way.

You must understand that bin Laden is not representative of the Muslim faith, just as a rabid wolf is not representative of the healthy remainder of his species. Being in the military, I have served proudly alongside Muslims. The Muslim men with whom I served had as much dedication to God and this great country as any other and in many cases much more. I have stood proudly among these men and will stand beside them and fight with and for them tomorrow if the call comes.

We are Americans. Bin Laden and those like him win only if we lose sight of the ideals this country was founded upon. Those who hate us for the freedom earned through sacrifices of blood, widows and fatherless sons will learn the true meaning of unity and deep resolve.

I ask as an American of something from the American people. The enemy is among us. One way to better ensure the safety of all on the home front is to learn the security procedures in your workplace and practice it.

Our Commander in Chief, as well as those of us who serve, request your show of support and resolve until the mission is done. This is a very different war. This war isn't your normal "storm the beaches and take out the visible enemy" war. The steps that will need to be and will most certainly be taken will seem slow coming and will not show an overnight result. Stand by your President and your countrymen until the job is done. The people of the heartland have made me proud in their show of unity and patriotism, never lose it. It is better to remember than to be reminded.

God bless America, land that I love.