Monday, October 23, 2006

Darfur Proposal

Twenty-five years ago I was coming to the end of my Marine Corps enlistment. I could run a mile in six minutes, a 5K in less than twenty minutes, a 10K in forty-two minutes, a half marathon in an hour and forty minutes, and I was an expert rifleman. I could hit a body-size target from five hundred meters with an M16 rifle 9 out of 10 times. I was also trained and capable of setting up a mobile weather station, tracking rawinsonde balloons, and determining fallout from NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) warfare. In short, I was a very average Marine.

The government of the United States of America spent four years paying for my training. I spent four years earning my pay by preparing for a time when my service as a Marine or as a weather specialist would be needed in warfare. Training for warfare was as close as I ever got to being needed.

I can still jog several miles at a time, but my days of running against a stopwatch have long since passed. I haven’t shot a rifle since leaving the Corps, and I wonder if rawinsonde balloons are still used or needed to determine upper air weather measurements.

However, since I believe there is nothing more important than opposing tyranny, I sometimes regret my time in the military came and went without involvement in any meaningful military operations. I still want to do something important in my lifetime to advance freedom. I think I could still contribute to a limited military operation and I believe there are others like me who would like the opportunity to do what we were trained to do, but never got the opportunity to do.

Darfur could be our opportunity. A military action to stop the bloodshed of innocent lives in Darfur wouldn’t require the best Marines or even the latest and greatest military equipment. All Darfur needs is an opposing military to stop the murdering. I don’t have the resources to move to Sudan and stop the genocide on my own. However, I am willing to go to Sudan and carry a rifle for a short period of time and do what is necessary to stop the genocide if the United States government would organize and finance a military operation and allow a few almost over-the-hill Marines to participate. Does anyone care to join me? How do we get started?

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