“The few, the proud…the very young”
Once again I’m back in DC – the difference is that this week the weather has been BEAUTIFUL! What isn’t different is the seemingly endless squabbling and rancor between “our leaders”. It is so easy to get fed up with what is wrong back here, I thought I’d tell you all a story about what is right “out there”. As Dee and I were flying back from Alaska, we changed planes in Seattle and were assigned to “steerage” in the back of the plane. As we walked back, we realized we were surrounded by about 20 shave tail marine recruits heading for boot camp in San Diego. It looked like the cast from every coming of age war movie you’ve ever seen. From the “Joe cool” character to the overweight dweeb with coke bottle eyeglasses (the guy that it never turns out well for), they were all there. What struck us was the incredible enthusiasm and energy they all exhibited even though they were facing what was surely to be the most challenging weeks of their young lives. Several of them had never been on an airplane before so everything was a new experience – but despite their excitement and anticipation they remained very respectful and courteous to their fellow passengers. You couldn’t help but get caught up in their world and try to help them understand what they were seeing out the window and what to expect in San Diego. It also inspired me to go visit the USMC Iwo Jima Memorial tonight – one that I always find inspiring but one which I hadn’t been to in many years.
You have to wonder what further challenges these young men will face once they complete their training – undoubtedly, some if not all of them will end up in harm’s way and you pray that their training, their leaders, and the innocence of youth will see them through it. Their optimism and patriotism were infectious to all that were around them. If only some of our leaders could have been in the “back of the bus” to be inspired to do their jobs as well as these young men were going to do theirs. Ooh–RAH!!