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Seeing is believing at Boss Lift

by Jeff Conroy
| November 11, 2010 8:00 PM

This past August Board Member Garry Loeffler, Social Service Director Matt Hutchinson, Transitional Housing Director Eric Swanbeck and I had the opportunity to participate in the Annual ESGR Boss Lift. The 'Boss Lift' is conducted every year by the Idaho Chapter of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and is part of the Department of Defense. The Idaho National Guard played host to 179 employers, civic leaders, and representatives from Idaho government agencies and members of the legislature. The state chapter is part of a nationwide organization of business and civic leaders to provide support for members of the guard and reserve, and to assist their civilian employers to understand the importance of part-time military service, and provides help to businesses that have employees called away from their civilian jobs to active military duty.

While there we toured the training simulators for both small arms and vehicle-borne weapons, experienced what it feels like to use M16A4 Rifles and M4 Carbines in a firefight, drive a Hummer through downtown Baghdad, engage targets with a .50 caliber machine gun, and tour the facilities of the Idaho Air Guard's 190th Fighter Squadron.

But what touched me the most was visiting the men of the 116th Cavalry Brigade - our Idaho neighbors, family and friends - as they prepared to leave for Afghanistan. Meeting these men, feeling their honor, their integrity and pride in the job that lays before them was incredibly humbling. I felt the patriotic side of me emerge like never before.

I left that two-day experience with a hardened mission to serve our veterans even better. At St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho we work with the soldiers after they come back. Some with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, some with substance abuse issues, all have served our country. We believe that anyone who has served our country should never have to sleep on her streets. We will continue to help our servicemen in need. Thank you to our servicemen and veterans for providing us our freedom. God Bless You!

Jeff Conroy is the executive director of St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho.

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