The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
Today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK. The Queen, along with every living former Prime Minister, turn out in Whitehall to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph the UK's memorial to all of its war dead. Similar ceremonies take place across the UK and the Commonwealth, and at military bases in Afghanistan. Today's was the first ever without a WWI veteran. They are all gone now. Here's the two-minute silence. You can join in wherever you are.
Today I also read an article about the new challenges facing our combat veterans.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were in many ways acutely different from their predecessors. With a new kind of war came a new host of challenges for those who fought in it. Fewer fatalities has led to more life-long injuries, an economy in crisis will translate to fewer jobs and less federal funding, and the use of unconventional weaponry is already apparent in the prevalence of invisible, untreatable mental wounds.
If you haven't clicked through to that article yet, bear with me. Because I was so struck by a picture of a veteran there. He looks like a totally lovely man, and he has a completely lovely smile:
As some of you will have seen in my post on fb and g+, Tim Mathews was an Army infantry and intelligence officer, and instructor, who served three tours in Iraq… then earned both an MBA (GWU) and a JD (UMass)… and who has now been looking for work for six months. Meanwhile, he's been contributing to the Yale Journal of International Affairs and an Afghan Law Bibliography, working as a research fellow at his law school, and mentoring high school kids.
Is the world completely upside down when a man with this level of talent and industriousness can't get hired? I suggest that his service record alone ought to propel him to the head of any queue of job applicants. Here's his LinkedIn profile, which perhaps you'll be willing to pass around until he gets a completely awesome job and the universe makes sense again.