My Friend, you and I are old, and we’re going to die relatively soon. You, a retired military warrior and I, a soon to be retired civil warrior, fought different battles, but really the same. As old warriors, it is our purview to wallow in the cynicism resultant of too many fights over too many years. I reject that temptation because I can’t allow myself to live in a state of self-indulgence. There is still a fire in my belly, other than the one caused by good whisky. Joining you soon off the field of battle, I’ll be sheathing my sword for the exclusive use of a pen while continuing to subject my words to the abuse and critique of whomever happens upon my missives.
You, the world traveler and educated observer, reject my entreaties to expand your writing beyond a closed circle of confidants and former colleagues. Don’t you agree that you are essentially talking to yourself? I contend that you have a continuing warrior mission to speak to and hopefully be understood by those who fail to perceive the danger amongst us and the threatening hordes just over the horizon.
During our discussion on Islamo-fascism, you stated that you are not about to again risk “getting your tail shot-off for Mom’s apple pie.” I understand, but in truth, considering our age and unsuitability for the field of battle, neither of us is likely to live long enough to get our tails shot off, as you say, for “Mom’s apple pie.” I might still take a bullet from some damn doper, but probably not from an Islamist.
While you married and enjoy many years with your bride, you made a conscious decision to not have children. You had good reason to seriously doubt whether you would survive to raise the next generation. I made the same choice only to have it undone when I married a woman with adult daughters, who subsequently gave us grandchildren. The girls adamantly dubbed me “Dad” and then “Grandpa” when that time arrived. The grandchildren call me “Papa.” Go figure, I never thought I’d be here.
In response to my comments on the burgeoning Muslim threat, you wrote back and I subsequently accused you of throwing the baby out with the bath water. That was not intended to be just an old metaphor. You did not have a five year old granddaughter asleep on your lap just prior to writing your piece. I did, and the fact that I do have grandchildren shapes my perspective in a manner in which I doubt that you can empathize.
You were a great warrior and made many sacrifices for your country while slogging in the jungles and soaring high in the cockpit. And, yes the politicians and brass lied to you. But, consider this: what is our country if not the future of our children and their children? I don’t think that you understand the bigger reason why you, as a warrior, played such an important role. And, that’s because it never slept on your lap.
You said that you never run from a fight. So, pick up your pen and step back into the fray. Pick up the most powerful weapon that you’ve ever held in your hands. A gun can dissipate an immediate threat, but it can’t kill an evil idea. The pen is the only weapon that can change minds.
The fire, my Friend! The fire is still in my belly, more so than ever before.
Uu-ah Sheepdog! Hunt the Wolf and the Jackal!