Photo: The Institute of Heraldry

“Godspeed” a word, a wish, a hope. It is a wish for a speedy, successful, safe journey. The phrase is used in the launching of naval vessels and during NASA space flights.

It is our wish for those Vermonters, 1210 in all, who will be deployed to Afghanistan for Task Force Phoenix. The task force is established to help train Afghan Army and Security Forces to combat terrorism within their borders. There are 33 troops deploying alone from Rutland and 4 from our own town. These are neighbors and friends, familiar faces as we go about our daily lives here in a small town in a small state, who will be conspicuously absent in the next year. We appreciate their dedication and their bravery. Their families will undoubtedly have a “blue” Christmas without them and all of our lives will be emptier without them.

All we can offer in return for their efforts is a promise that as a community, we will help their families where needed, keep them in our thoughts and prayers and hope, just a little, to temper the hole their absence will create in the lives of their families.  We wish them Godspeed, a safe and quick journey on their appointed tasks.