Where were you when the world stopped turning?
I was working in the S-3 shop of the 15th Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. I had gone to DISCOM headquarters and popped into the S-2 shop just as the 1st plane hit. We watched it on CNN. When the 2nd plane hit we just looked at each other and said “I wonder who we just went to war with?”
Now, 10 years later, so much has changed. I’ve done 2 years in Iraq, as a Scout Platoon Leader and Armor Company Commander. I’ve escorted convoys from Mosul to Kuwait City and helped rebuild towns and de-mine roads all over southern Diyala Province. And, I’m left with the haunting question of whether or not our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq have been worth the price in treasure and blood. I know I have, personally, done things of which I am very proud. There are people in this world who live a bit freer, a bit easier, have a bit better healthcare and cleaner water to drink because of my actions.
But, I begin to wonder if, at the strategic level, we have not pissed away a generation’s fortune in 2 pissant backwaters. It’s the kind of question that real historians will have to answer in another 40 years or so. It’s a truism among historians that you need at least 50 years perspective to properly write the history of an event, and I am finding this to be true. The WWII generation cannot dispassionately examine Pearl Harbor, D-Day or the Fair Deal anymore than I can dispassionately look at September, 11th.
I have been proud to see my generation step up to the challenges we have faced. I’m proud to see the Tea Party and others finally willing to face hard truths and say hard things with regard to Social Security and the entire welfare behemoth. For the sake of my grand-children, I pray what we do is enough, well enough, to pass to them a birthright worth having.
May God forgive us our folly and allow us to continue to be a beacon of Light and Freedom.