Cassie Gibbs

The Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter of the Association of the United States Army is calling for more community partners to support the organization in its efforts to strengthen and support the Army.

This call for membership is important because more members shows the top leaders in the nation just how important the military is to this community.

To be honest, I never had any knowledge of or interest in the Army until I moved to this area. I come from one of those small dots of a town that you have to squint at just to see that it exists on the map. We didn’t really have much of any military influence where I come from.

Then I moved here for my job, and let me tell you, Fort Rucker and the Army makes a difference. There is more offered here than in my little town, and the culture is so much more vibrant thanks to the different people who come through the Wiregrass because of the home of Army Aviation that sits in your backyard.

I’ve come to realize just how important serving in the military actually is and why you should support those who serve. Around the Wiregrass, there are so many ways to do that.

If you were born, raised and settled here, you may have gotten used to and taken for granted Fort Rucker just being here for so long.

As someone from the outside, I just want to ask you to look at the different municipalities and the entirety of the Wiregrass, and think about how this entire area could look if Fort Rucker were not here.

I ask you to do this not because Fort Rucker is leaving tomorrow, but to remind you just how important that post and the Army is in this area. I also ask you to do this to inspire you to support those groups who support the Army as well. AUSA is one of those groups.

AUSA “is a nonprofit educational and professional development association serving America’s Total Army, our Soldiers, Army civilians, and their families; our industry partners, and supporters of a strong national defense,” according to the organization’s website. “AUSA provides a voice for the Army, supports the Soldier, and honors those who have served in order to advance the security of the nation.”

How does AUSA do this? This organization provides information to the public and Congress about the Army, its needs and its importance “in national defense,” the AUSA website states. AUSA also works to bring the Army and communities together in numerous ways.

If anyone would know about the needs of the Army, it would be those involved in AUSA, as a great number of the organization’s members are current and former military personnel. This group also works to represent every single subset of military personnel or those connected to the military, including Army Reserve personnel, all military family members and government civilians.

AUSA has 121 chapters worldwide, and one of those chapters sits here: the Fort Rucker-Wiregrass chapter.

Though the organization fights for those in the Army or associated with the Army, anyone who wishes to support the Army can be a member; however, the chapter is calling for more participation from the Wiregrass’ businesses.

This is important. Research AUSA yourself, if you don’t already know what it is, and consider being a community partner or just a member in general. Your support can help the organization have even more power when speaking with Congressional leaders about the needs of the Army.

Remember, as someone who grew up in an area without the great support of the Army and a post like Fort Rucker, it makes a difference to have the Army’s presence in your hometown, and because of what the Army has done for you, in so many more ways than one, think about what you can do for the Army.

Cassie Gibbs is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at cgibbs@southeastsun.com.

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