They leave behind the most important people in their lives to fight for their country's freedom, a selfless act of duty that sometimes has a tragic ending.
Sen. Tim Golden, (D) Valdosta, says, "It's hitting home in Valdosta because we've lost two soldiers in the last week, so this city is mourning."
But the city's grief pales in comparison to the grief felt by the families left behind. Now, new legislation is looking to soften the burdens facing a soldier's family.
Sen. Tim Golden says, "When people go in service now with the National Guard, they have a cutoff or a drop in their pay and they are leaving children and spouses back home that are having to operate on a lot less money than they are used too."
Starting next year, however, Georgians can donate money to a special military fund through their income taxes.
Residents of Valdosta say this community's recent losses have sparked renewed interest in the income tax donations. They say it's their chance to do something more than simply say thank you.
Phil Youngblood, a military veteran, says, "Now we have the opportunity to put our money where our mouth is. We've got an opportunity to stand up for our troops, stand up for their families and ensure they are supported."
It is exactly what many folks in Valdosta plan on doing.
Kirby Ingram says, "I'm just very proud of them and I think it's such an important job to have, serving for our country. I think it's an honor and I'd like to help out any way I could."
It's Georgia's chance to let its true colors shine.
A similar effort in Illinois has distributed more than $3 million to family members of guardsmen. Sponsors hope to see even stronger numbers in Georgia.
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