Wednesday, September 20, 2006


As I walked into my hotel room tonight, a fire truck just up the road threw it's lights and siren on.

It wasn't already screaming towards its target--the truck was already cruising down the road when it happened.

I was sticking my key in the door, fresh from a great evening with my classmate's very rich parents. I had just spent the past four hours drinking martini's in a house like none that I have ever been in, nor will ever probably be in again. I was sliding the key into the lock of my warm and safe room, paid for by the US Air Force and clearly safe.

A quaretr mile up the road I heard a siren erupt. I thought of the dispatcher in the station--getting that final urgent call that upgraded whatever engine #3 was doing from a routine checkout to something that required urgency, that required the lights to come on.

I thought of the driver in the truck, or the copilot who took the radio call, who made the decision to speed things up and move along, clearing the road of anyone else. Of the firefighters in the back--who have kids at home and mothers that love them, that tightened their equipment and pulled on their gloves, not knowing who or what they were going after, or how dangerous it was going to be.

I watched as the cars pulled to side of the road, and remembered how cool I always thought that was, and how badass I have always thought a screaming firetruck looks on its way to a mission.

And then I thought of us, the US military--how I wished that things were like that for us when we would go in to fight, how I wished that there were no questions asked, no media to worry about, and no political boundries to worry about breaching. Those firefighters are given a simple call--"go save them"--and they do it, without hesitation or question as to what the reasons are behind the decision to send them into harm's way.

I wish so much that those same rules applied to us--go do your mission, and we'll take the heat from the media. And the american public will be behind you--no matter what. Because they understand that the only reason you are there is because you believe, with every fiber of your being, that you are protecting the same people that those firefighters are screaming down the highway to save.

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