Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The 2/7

So nigh is Grandeur to our Dust,
So near to God is Man, 
When Duty whispers low, "Thou must",
The Youth replies, "I can". 
- Emerson 

One cannot reasonably separate the extended conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq in which the United States military has been engaged for the past fourteen years from the events of September 11, 2001.  I care not what your politics are and/or what your position was/is on the commitment of American troops to those parts of the world.  For purposes of today's exercise, I ask only that you accept the causal relationship between what happened on that brilliantly sun-soaked Tuesday morning fourteen Septembers ago in Washington, D.C., in Pennsylvania, and in New York City and what has happened in the fourteen years since in far less hospitable environments.  

A recognition of the causal relationship is critical to an understanding of how the events of that day have impacted countless thousands of lives of the members of our all-volunteer military including, but not limited to, those killed in action or catastrophically injured in action.

A recognition of the causal relationship is critical to an understanding of the tragedy that is the 2/7 - the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, what the Marines who served in it have done - and continue to do - in order to try and save one another's lives, the debt that each of us owes to each of them regardless of whether we actually make their acquaintance, and the realization that these young men (including many of them who are younger than my children) have come to about upon whom they can rely for help - and who is literally no help to them whatsoever.  

Theirs is a story told brilliantly and poignantly here by Dave Philipps.  It is neither a pleasant read nor a short one.  It is, however, something that is worthy of your time and of your consideration.  It shall likely make you sad - as well as very, very angry.  Our mission, yours and mine, is to channel any sorrow and any anger that we feel into action.  These young men need neither our tears nor our outrage.  

They need our help.


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