Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lead, Follow, or Get the Hell Out of the Way!

With permission, I'm posting in its entirety an email I received from reader Larry E. (a Marine no longer on active duty):
There is always sadness when a serviceman loses their lives and there is also pride that they did so for something greater than themselves.

The real tragedy isn’t the loss of life in conflict, but it is when a nation turns their backs on them. When a nation sends their loved ones into harms way, then loses the will to complete the mission. Not because the capability was lacking, but because our servicemen and women are used as political pawns by our very own government. Each party constantly looking to seek advantage over the other rather than looking toward what is best for the country and best for those men and women that have sworn to serve it. A government filled with politicians willing to undermine the troops and their mission for personal gain, yet all the while professing publically their support for the troops. Filled with politicians willing to use military funding as a vehicle for personal gain, all the while decrying wasteful projects. Filled with those that would throw all these lives away if they thought it might personally benefit them and their political party.

For whatever reason we are already there, no matter which President put us there, THIS President has the current responsibility of deciding if this a fight we should be fighting; and if it is, he should then throw absolutely everything we have at winning it and at winning it decisively. If he decides it is not, or if he decides it cannot be won, then he has the responsibility to withdraw immediately. The absolute worst thing to do, is to do nothing; leaving an overstretched military in the field to be worn away and to let the enemy win simply by nibbling at the edges until we tire and leave.

Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!



On a related note, my Son graduates from CH-53 Sea Stallion, Crew Chief School, November 19th. I’m incredibly proud of him and will attend that graduation as I did when he graduated from recruit training. As I did, he joined the Marines after high school. So now there is this bond as Father and Son, but there is also the bond from our band of brothers. He called me on November 10th bright and early to make certain that he was the first to wish me happy birthday; as all Marines exchange birthday greetings to celebrate their Corps founding. He has really grown up to be a fine young man. He will be deploying very soon to Afghanistan. When he does, he deserves a civilian leadership that will “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!”

We wish Larry's son all the best.  I'm sure all my readers will join me with their hopes and prayers for his safe return...

Flight Blogging...

As I write this I am on a flight from San Diego to Atlanta.  The plane is equipped with in-flight WiFi, so here I am posting to my blog while in the air.  Amazing!

The performance isn't bad at all.

The in-flight entertainment system had some kind of a problem at first, so the flight attendant announced that they were going to “hard boot” the computer.  To my amusement, all our seat-back screens showed the boot progress – of the Ubuntu Linux OS that's installed on the computer.  Nice little penguin logo on the graphical boot screen.  Hah!

Blog Alert...

I am traveling this week, today (Saturday) through next Thursday.  I'm going to visit my folks in Virginia, then I'm off to Atlanta to visit with a customer.  Blogging in this period will be intermittent and not particularly predictable, either in timing or content.

Now I'm off to the airport, to place myself at the mercy of Delta...