Thursday, April 06, 2006

The costs of serving

National Guardsman Tim Schultz was running a small businesses, working 70 hours a week and making a decent living when he left for training before going to Iraq. Before Schultz even got to Iraq, his business was suffering in his absence. By the time he returned in November 2005 his business was a lost cause. He may also lose his house, which he used as collateral for a government loan intended to help sustain his business while he was away.

Schultz's attitude is admirable - he doesn't regret his deployment - but his case illustrates another aspect of what it means to serve your country. Everyone makes a sacrifice. Employees who are in the Guard have some measure of protection when they're activated, but small business owners do not. It's probably not even possible to do anything to help them as small business owners often succeed through the strength of their commitment and personality and when they're away their business inevitably suffers.