He was just a teenage boy. Like many, he blended in with the rest. I think I remember taking his temperature in the health office on a day he wasn't feeling well. But nothing much more about him stands out in my mind. He was just another student among the 300 others. Then he became a man and my memory changes.
He returned to my building one day in a uniform...handsome beyond words. I had heard that he had enlisted and was serving in the Middle East. I had also heard he was a Special Forces sniper.
He came that day to see his middle school teachers, to thank them for the education they had given him and to tell them it had paid off. He made a special effort to thank his math teacher, a wonderful woman, for he finally understands why he needed to know algebra. I guess it made him a better shot!
No, this is not a story about a soldier who has lost his life. This is a story about a soldier who wants to save yours and thinks we as a nation may have made a irreparable mistake.
He now makes his living working for an 'unknown' entity as some kind of operative. His own mother has no knowledge of her son's occupation other than he rarely talks about his work. On the one occasion he did, this is what he had to say (I paraphrase):
"In my job I am forced to break bread with some really awful, horrible people. The one thing I want people to know is this: these people are glad Obama is our president. They are ecstatic. They are not afraid of Obama. They were afraid of George Bush. And that puts every one of us in danger."
I fear, my friends, we are in trouble.