Jewish World Review Jan 24, 2012/ 29 Teves, 5772
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We sit in classrooms listening to another boring lecture. Or we take the kids to school on the way to work. Or climb in the pick-up truck for another day at the construction site. We stay busy or, what's much harder, try to look busy. We go on about our business or tend to everybody else's, whatever's our pleasure in a free country.
We seldom look down at the underpinnings on which our lives rest. Or notice who maintains them. We remember the cops and firefighters and EMTs when we need them -- and when we need them, we need them badly -- but otherwise, we've got things to do, or think about doing, or get out of doing.
We sit in comfortable, well-lit offices and add rows of figures, or go to sales meetings. Maybe we worry about the stock market, or just wonder how our team will do next weekend. Some of us make a full-time job of feeling sorry for ourselves, others are too busy helping folks.
You don't hear references to Afghanistanism any longer. Unfortunately. These days
The days of the citizen-army are past. Which is unfortunate, too. Most of us wouldn't know Parade Rest from At Ease, a howitzer from a gun. Then one Wednesday morning a story deep inside the paper hits home: "Family suffers death of second brother in
His name was
He'd joined the
He had come home in 2009 for a funeral -- that of his brother Jeremy, who'd served as part of a Navy SEAL team till he left the service, then signed on as a defense contractor. He, another security contractor and five CIA types were all killed when a suicide bomber made it into their post at Khost. He was 35, and had made it through two years of medical school before deciding to join the
Call it a military family.
A third brother, Matthew, called Beau, is 28 and in the Marines. He returned last November from his second deployment in
A staff sergeant who served with him in
Every outfit has one, or ought to.
The Wise family, like the country, is in it for the duration. Just as what's now called the Greatest Generation was. The idea of Fortress America, an America safe in its isolation, shielded by its distance from a turbulent world wracked by fanatical creeds, died
Back then the threat was fascism and we were engaged in a world war. Then came the long twilight struggle that was the hot and cold war with communism.
Now it's a different kind of war and a different kind of enemy, but, as we were told from Day One, which was
Whenever I read about men like these two brothers, and their deeds and dedication, I wonder:
Where does America keep getting such men? Generation after generation.
The answer should be clear by now. They come from places like
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