Friday, March 30, 2007


I read the Weddings/Celebrations in the Style section of the NY Times every week. I think it is probably some of the best stuff of The Times. And, I always wonder how they choose the couples they highlight who are getting married. When I opened the page one week, I was blown away. There was a guy in uniform. I had seen military depicted before in the section but usually they were West Point graduates. However, this was different: A Specialist 4 (Corporal)Ranger (Rangers are the most elite single unit in the military. Their training is extreme. At the end of training, they are awarded a Ranger Tab, the most highly prized designation in the Army).

I almost fell over when I began to read--if not a marriage made in heaven, close. Marriages always start out with such promise. And, military marriages are very special. Sacrifices of unusual nature will be the order of the day for this young couple.

What impressed me, however, among many things, is the soldier Ranger's approach to his life. And, equally as much as how he came to be in the military is part of the thing that brought him to the day of his wedding. Older than most soldiers of his rank, 37, a Princeton graduate who after 9-11 and in his own words, "lots of soul searching" joined up. "I'd always wanted to do national service of some kind," the Army Ranger said.

Here is an example of what we are missing out on by not instituting some sort of universal service, community service, AllServe. If we gave youngsters a chance, a slight nudge, they would do it. Granted, this Ranger is a stand out by anybody's standards but still, there are more like him out there I know. If we had the political and moral will as a nation, we would be providing a chance for them to serve.

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