20 September 2010

Farewel, brother...

Operations continue in Afghanistan to secure that nation for some form
of sustainable self-government. Despite the criticism that the Karzai
leadership receives, it is critical that the citizens of Afghanistan be
able to take the reins on their destiny and not be subject to the
prevarications of outside forces.

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty
Mon, 20 Sep 2010 14:04:00 -0500


September 20, 2010

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a
Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

1st Lt. Scott J. Fleming, 24, of Marietta, Ga., died
Sept. 17 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province,
Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment,
3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of
Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

For additional background information on this Marine, news
media representatives may contact the Marine Corps Base Hawaii public
affairs office at 808-257-8838.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

On the Web: http://www.defense.gov/releases/
Media Contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public Contact: http://www.defense.gov/landing/questions.aspx or +1
(703) 428-0711 +1

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11 September 2010

Nine years...

It has been nine years since that fateful morning. I was at my civilian job, hosting my boss' boss and a collection of international scientists and engineers. I received a call from my command at the time and was told to "stand by".

We watched, mesmerized, as the images flooded through the television. We really didn't understand it at the time. In a way, we still don't understand the events of that day. We are a nation of vigorous, passionate yet peaceful disagreement. It is impossible for us to reconcile the cognitive dissonance of the actions of that day.

This anniversary is marked by frustration and anger. It seems to stem from the lack of resolution from the attacks of 2001. To this day we still have not captured Bin laden, the success in Iraq is unsatisfying and we are reminded constantly that a segment of Islam would like to see us destroyed.

The United States, for all of its flaws, is tolerant, open and welcoming to all types of individuals. We have physical and social room enough for everyone. There is no nation on the planet with the level of freedom, opportunity or openness to rival that of the United States.

Some of my dearest friends would contest this statement, however, any challenge brought is easily disassembled or refuted. The Scandanavia nations are often held up as a model, and yet they are a largely homogeneous culture with only a few million citizens and limited access for immigrants. The United Kingdom is cited for their acceptance of homosexuals and yet their continuing class segregation and troubling presence in Northern Ireland remains a substantial hindrance to true social freedom.

This is not an unhindered, jingoistic worship of our nation. It is merely an acknowledgement of the numerous real belssings we enjoy. A recognition of the many real challenges we have still to face as a nation and the expression of my hope and belief that we will rise to the best of our ideals.

It is important to remain ever forgiving and never forgetting.