The last few days in the news have given me a chance to reflect on my years in the U.S. Navy. I can say that it was the best years of my life, both personally and professionally, and I would be remiss if I didn't explain that it was the people that made it that way. Here are a few that influenced me:
My father served from '59 to '63. He was a Torpedoman aboard the USS Mullinix, and always spoke with great admiration of his days in the service.
My best friend (and probably only friend) from high school joined and still serves. I don't get to talk to him but every once in a great while, but I think he knows that I love and respect him dearly for not only helping me make the decision to join, but for serving himself.
Admiral Gallagher, who was my first Captain. He flew fighter jets and commanded Top-Gun, but you could still have a conversation with him like he was an old friend you played basketball with.
Chief Joe D, who was more than passionate about his beloved Cubs and Red Sox, but also was the calm in the storm of my 20 months in New Jersey
Chief Mark, who walked my wife down the aisle, and to this day reminds me that even old guys are cool guys
The EOD and SEAL teams I worked with in Kosovo. Nobody knows what I did, or what you did, but we know it, and it was career-changing
LTC Leyes, who kept me from going nuts when they brushed me under the rug and basically booted me out.
I titled this 'Attacking back' because I watched what happened this last week in the news, and I know that all of those listed above would have answered the 'what should we do' question with attack back. That is what makes them all great at their life-career of service. They have never sat back and let it just pass by, they have attacked. We cannot live in a society that just ignores the kind of hate and disregard for life as those attackers do. We wave the flag and hang the ribbons and sing the song, but we don't attack back. We are spineless. We are politically correct (which baffles me because politics don't come into play with a weapon aimed in your face). We don't hold the constitution and the founding documents sacred.
-Thanks to all of those who serve.