Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Pause on 911

Cucca sent me a few dozen golf balls blessed by his local Mormon bachelor farmer neighbors, which I have appreciatively called "Beaver Balls" in respect of Cucca's locale. I took the opportunity to try out a few today at the Camp Pendelton Marine Memorial Golf Course, where I sponsored and joined 2 Marines in a little Marine/Navy R&R tournament.
Lest we forget, these are the guys on the firing line. . .men who have seen and heard things that most of us would find hard to imagine . . . and find even harder to experience and then come away sane. If you think trading is scary, you should try walking a few miles in those boots.
With 4,155 service personnel killed to date in this war and 30,244 wounded, these men risk their lives every day in a truly frightening and threatening environment, where the possibility of painful and bloody death, or crippling or disabling injury is very, very real. That they can retain a sense of humor, wit and playfullness is testament to their courage and commitment.
In a war costing $350 million a day in direct costs and probably another $300 million a day in indirect costs, the financial consequences of this ill-conceived debacle will be borne by generations. The psychological, emotional and mental health costs to the participants in this conflict and their families will likely be beyond measure.
I was honored to be able to share a few hours of golf and conversation with these Marines.
My hat's off to them.

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