State living up to ‘Volunteer’ tradition
By: John Brannon Messenger Staff Reporter
By JOHN BRANNON
Messenger Staff Reporter
In the great tradition of Tennessee Volunteers — its fighting men and women, not its football team — the beat goes on … and on … and on.
Nate Crawford knows. He lives it five, sometimes six and seven, days a week.
Crawford, a retired U.S. Army master sergeant, is a public information specialist for the Tennessee National Guard headquarters in Nashville.
“Since Sept. 11, 2001 (the infamous “9/11”), the Tennessee National Guard has deployed more than 12,000 soldiers and airmen,” he said.
Some were deployed inside the continental United States, but most have been deployed to places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.
“Many have been volunteers who have gone back to Iraq two and three times,” Crawford said. “We have a total of 14,000 members in about 120 Guard units in our state. Of that 12,000-plus who have been deployed since 9/11, many have been from Obion County.”
And yet recruiting and reenlistment are the best in years, he added.
“Both are good. Both are the best we’ve seen ’em in many years,” he said.
Published in The Messenger 1.21.08