Got a nice note from an occasional lurker I thought I’d share:
Lex–Thanks for a thought provoking and very entertaining forum, I check in and lurk everyday.
I just listened to your KCET interview and really enjoyed the exchange.
I am a pilot for Polar Air Cargo, and as such have had the privelege to witness some of the service of young Americans from NAS Norfolk to Rota, AFB Charleston to Ramstein AB, Hickam to Kadena, Kuwait to Qatar, Incirlik to Kuwait.
As a Midshipman, I have had the happy duty of delivering early morning donuts up to prifly aboard USS Coral Sea before the morning F-4 launch, and swapping cards on the YUK-7 computer with a proud Chief in the wee hours aboard USS Guitarro (both vessels long gone). Having never commissioned is the great regret of my life, but the Navy showed me more “right” in my 4 years at SDSU than any other institution has shown me since. I get it.
My most poignant views of our warriors have been witnessing the respectful, and quiet before sunrise delivery of the fallen by an Honor Guard and any available personnel who are able to offer a final slow-motion salute before placement aboard our 747 in Kuwait for the long, quiet flights back to Dover AFB and the solemn service (often with late notified families) planeside back “home”. Inflight, it has become a ritual to go down, say a prayer, and recognize the sacrifice and loss those flag draped coffins represent. Too many of those flights… It is an honor to be defended by such people, and so sad to contemplate the cost they have paid.
I agree with the point made in your interview: This other side of the militarys’ story is a crucial input that the MilBlogs bring to the discussion of who we are, who we used to be, where we are going and how we fit into the new world. Is anything worth fighting for anymore? I agree with the notion that much of what we are…is.
I thought your interview might put me to sleep…as I am operating a flight out of Osan AB in Korea in about 4 hours…as usual you accounted for more of my time than anticipated. Oh well, the coffee will be black, the sunrise and conversation will be worth getting up for.
Maybe we could all lose a little more sleep thinking about the young American serving far from home that I will meet in a few hours who will deliver the manifest and say “Thank you Captain, you have a good day.” As I’m headed home to my family, I’ll hope they ALL have a very good day. Thanks again, Lex.
And I thanked him too in my response for providing our fallen and their families a service that is nearly the final kindness.