21 August, 2006

What They're Doing With Their Lives

Captain B (himself a college-educated airline pilot before he enlisted) writes a beautiful answer to those who ask the young enlisted Marine, "Is that all you're going to do with your life?"

To my surprise there are a lot of people out there who think our services are made up of people who couldn’t find a job else where and then turned to the military. Wow, did that surprise me. Especially, when my radio operator (a Corporal) back in 1997 was a college graduate and decided to become a Marine to serve his country. Since Sept 11, many highly qualified Americans have joined to serve and today is the foundation of our great military service. Another example is a very successful NY stock trader who I served with. He had plenty of money and a great career, but after Sept 11, he felt compelled to make a difference and now he fought along with me in Afghani and Iraq.
Please do read it all.

So what are military personnel doing with their lives today? We already know about those in Iraq and Afghanistan and other hotspots around the world. But that's not all they're doing today. Here's a brief sample (click to enlarge):

Snipers watch from a hangar roof as suspected drug cartel leader Francisco Javier Arellano Felix and other men are brought to Coast Guard Station San Diego on Thursday. The crew of the cutter Monsoon detained Felix and the men on a fishing boat in waters off the coast of Baja California (Denis Poroy / AP Photo).

Soldiers with the Presidential Salute Battery of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) fire howitzers during the grand finale of a U.S. Army Band performance of Tchaikovsky's Overture "1812" at the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The annual performance is a favorite of tourists to the Nation's Capital (M. Scott Mahaskey / Army Times).

Dr. (Col.) William Walters of the Tennessee Air National Guard listens to the lungs of a Ugandan patient during the training exercise Natural Fire 2006 in Soroti, Uganda, on Aug. 8 (Master Sgt. John E. Lasky / U.S. Air Force).

More pictures and captions here.