Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Honoring Randomness

At the end of the month is Memorial Day, a holiday when those who are aware of the original purpose of the day will honor those who have died for this country. As for me, I'll be thinking of those currently serving, with the hope that next year I won't be honoring their ultimate sacrifice.

One would be forgiven for thinking that a scholar of military politics such as I would be accustomed to the cost of war. However, once in a while the War Against Terrorism is made personal to me. Such was the case earlier this month. One of my best students had to drop out of college only weeks before the end of the semester because he's being shipped out for his 3rd tour of duty in Iraq -- the first was during Desert Storm, the second during the current conflict.

What struck me the most was that he didn't believe his fellow students would care why he was leaving the class. The following week I asked the students and most said that they did care, hoped he stayed safe while there. Yet, while some pointed out that I was correct in that knowing someone who was going made the conflict a little more personal to them, most seemed to be looking forward to summer vacation more.

At the beginning of summer, when most folks see a three-day weekend, honor those who have fallen and give a thought to those who put their lives on the line as members of the military -- Give a thought to the California National Guard; the mothers, the fathers, the sons and daughters, the students who give up their everyday lives to serve in a land too far away -- may they all come home safe and next year they can have their three-day holiday weekend.

DB, my quizzes may be hard, but at least you don't need body armor to survive them. Be safe.

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