A Sanctuary For Soldiers

September 8, 2008

To me, the word sanctuary conjures in my mind, the image of a calm and peaceful place. One that is welcoming and a haven. That’s exactly what one county in North Carolina has declared that they are, and they’ve enlisted the aid of an “Army’s Army” to ensure that any Soldier who comes there, will feel welcome.

On Friday, in a statement of support for our country’s military, Cumberland County, NC declared itself the nation’s first sanctuary for Soldiers and their family members. Their desire is to make a military friendly community. One in which Soldiers will feel welcomed. Major roads in the county will be adorned with official blue and white sanctuary signs. Within the Sanctuary, soldiers will be eligible for local services ranging from free child care to job placement for soldiers’ spouses. A public proclamation will be made by U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes at a “groundbreaking” ceremony at the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Armory and Museum in Downtown Fayetteville.1

The Army’s Army of community volunteers in Cumberland County have pledged to “watch over those who watch over us.” They plan on doing so by assisting military families in any way that they possibly can. The Army’s Army now numbers over 500 members, who were recruited by posters, videos, brochures and via the internet at the Army’s Army website. The citizens who make up the Army’s Army will over one on one services to military members and their families. Businesses who are a part of the group will offer discounts and other preferential treatments.

The group has also created a social networking site, Fayetteville Wants You where military members who are considering moving into the community can link up with citizens guides who are ready and willing to steer them through the relocation process. Which in times of relocation, can be an invaluable resource and ease the burden that goes along with moving to a new location.

Jim Konneker, commander of the Army’s Army, says, “As the ultimate company town for the military, we truly believe our soldiers deserve to have a hometown that treats them like the heroes they truly are.”

Mayor Anthony G. Chavonne says, “Around here we don’t just give lip service to ’support the troops,’ we live it every day.”2

This is a fantastic example of a community located near a military installation, that is willing to make their military members feel welcome and who is willing to do whatever they can to ease the transition for Soldiers moving into the area. With the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closures) that are currently on-going, thousands of Soldiers will be moving to Fort Bragg, with many of them settling in Cumberland County, which is one of 11 that are close to Fort Bragg. I would hope that many other communities that are located near military installations, will follow the lead of Cumberland County and Fayetteville and do everything in their power to make the Soldiers in their area feel welcome.

Army’s Army

Fayetteville Wants You

  1. http://www.military.com/news/article/worlds-first-soldier-sanctuary.html?ESRC=topstories.RSS []
  2. http://www.military.com/news/article/worlds-first-soldier-sanctuary.html?ESRC=topstories.RSS []


One Response to “A Sanctuary For Soldiers”

  1. David M on September 9th, 2008 9:27 am

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 09/09/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.

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