Monday, January 10, 2005

Prayers for an alumnus 

Yesterday I received a letter from Bill Johnson. Bill was an econ major who graduated from us a couple of years ago. Sometimes your favorite students are the ones you help get C+'s rather than A's, kids for whom the material doesn't come easy but who succeed through hard work. I would not call Bill my brightest student -- and I don't think Bill would mind my saying that -- but he was a very pleasant and polite young man who wanted to complete school to pursue a career in the military. Most of my students leave and don't write again; I've been able to keep in some contact with him as he's moved into the Marines. He writes:
I am a 2ndLt in the USMC. I have gone through Officers' Candidate School, The Basic School, and The Infantry Officer Course. I now face my biggest challenge, Fallujah. I am the second platoon commander of India Company, Third Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment. I have 34 outstanding Marines in my command. I would like to personally ask my family and friends one thing:

As we leave into combat tomorrow, say a prayer for my Marines. As long as I bring them all back safely, I have done my job. We have brave men and women in many services in harm's way protecting our freedom. No matter what we think politically, no matter what religion we adopt, and no matter what our beliefs are, they are protecting us. ...

Thank all for the support you have given me in my life, and now it is my turn to return the favor to all.

I'm proud to post this note, and I ask my readers to join me in saying a prayer for Bill and India Co.