2018-02-01 / Editorial

Military often gives back to community

Since the time of the Civil War, members of the military, especially the U.S. Navy, have been frequent residents of Jamestown. Whether as summer guests or retirees, they have been ubiquitous and beneficial to our island.

There’s the obvious financial boost they provide through renting homes, shopping at our stores and eating at our restaurants.

More than the financial benefits, military members and their families bring a diversity to town, which typically represents a wider range of life experiences than most of the population. This especially is true of their children, who tend to have a broader understanding of the world because they have lived in various parts of it. Sharing those perspectives helps local students view things with a wider lens than they normally would, which can have a broadening effect on them.

While it would be easy for folks spending only a year or so here to hunker down and cloister among themselves, quite the opposite is true. Frequently, they become active in the community, volunteering with various groups, coaching students and partaking in our annual traditions.

That they become part of the very fabric of the community is a two-way street. Jamestowners tend to be a welcoming and inclusive sort, and the military members are initiated at the annual ice cream social at the library, which helps to integrate and ingratiate them with other residents. That type of hospitality feeds off itself and makes the military members want to have that same camaraderie with their newfound neighbors.

Participating in so many aspects of Jamestown life also creates an environment where the military is more in our everyday consciousness. This allows us to be more cognizant of the important role they play in the country and the world.

Our home owes a debt of gratitude to these fine men and women who have done so much for so long to help make Jamestown the special place it is.

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