Sunday, December 11, 2005

God Rest McCarthy and Campbell

Two American leaders died last week. One, Eugene McCarthy, led the anti-war political movement in 1968 that brought down the Johnson administration. The other, Carrol Campbell, brought dignity and wisdom to the South Carolina governor's mansion in the last decade. They were from different generations and different ends of the political spectrum, but they shared a passion for leading people in what they believed to be righteous causes. And, America is a better place because of them.
Unfortunately, the media has focussed on the life and death of a foul-mouthed, drug-abusing, stand-up comic as the week's headline instead of the lives and deaths of two genuine American giants. Well, this Marine knows the difference...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Birth of a Duck Hunter

Twenty-six years ago today my second son made his reluctant entrance into this world. Sixteen months earlier, his brother, Joshua, had emerged from his mother's womb without a fear in the world and had been (and has been) attacking the world's challenges fearlessly since. Jeremy's arrival was different. He did not want to be born, and he noisily protested his eviction with a gusto that took me by surprise. His careful and cautious (not to be confused with timid) approach to life perfectly complemented his brother's adventurous nature as they grew up as inseparable as if they were twins.

Jeremy, as our oft-told family story goes, was born on the opening day of duck season. We were stationed at Camp Lejeune and from the window of his mother's hospital room I could clearly see a duck blind on the New River. I had planned to be in that blind that morning, but Jeremy's arrival changed that plan. He is an avid duck hunter today, and I like to think that the timing and place of his birth has something to do with that.

As is our custom with all three of our kids, his mother and I called this morning and woke him up to wish him a happy birthday. He was grumpy, but he would have been grumpier if we had not called.

Twenty-six years ago--unbelievable!