Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Blunt End of American Foreign Policy

This afternoon, I spoke briefly to my oldest and dearest friend. He was in San Diego at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot. Tommorow morning, he will watch his son graduate from boot camp.

My friend is justifiably proud. His son has accomplished something that can never be taken away from him. In the morning, when he puts on his dress blues for the first time and marches across the drill field, he will be a Marine. No matter what else happens to him, where he goes or what he does, he will be a member of one of our nations most elite fraternities. From what we have heard, his son will be the honor graduate of his company and will be allowed to start the difficult path leading to acceptance in Force Recon.

My friend is scared to death. He served in Marine Corp aviation during the Viet Nam conflict. While, like myself, he did not see combat, his association with those that did left indelible marks. Combat Arms is not a test that anyone would willingly choose for their son. It has to be chosen and my friend's son has done just that.

In a few months, this boy, eighteen years old, will be the blunt end of American foreign policy. He will likely go to Iraq, take life and risk having his own taken. He will trust his life to his fellow Marines and take their lives in his hands when they trust him. He will see horrors that no one of any age ever should and gain a confidence that lesser men will never comprehend. When he returns at twenty or twenty one he will not be a boy. He will never be a boy again. He will never be young again. He will be a veteran that few Americans will ever be able to understand, appreciate or sufficently thank for their service.

I will pray for this Marine every day of my life until he returns.



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