Monday, July 23, 2007

South Tower to Marine

Also from this last weekend at NRO, the story of a man named Mark Finelli who survived the 9/11 attacks and decided almost immediately afterward to give us his lucartive career in finance as an investment banker to become a US Marine.

"Finelli was eventually deployed to Iraq, where he served from July 2005 through February 2006 in Camp Fallujah. Before he went in, he says, he heard from antiwar politicians and activists “that our men and women are sitting ducks in an intelligence failure. I was a sitting duck in an intelligence failure,” he argues, referencing the attacks on 9/11.

Still, despite the numerous setbacks and the erosion of political support for the war domestically, Finelli believes going into Iraq was the right thing to do. He acknowledges mismanagement and is particularly scornful toward former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s prewar strategy of trying to win the war with fewer troops. Yet he maintains that Iraq is too strategic to ignore. “Iraq borders six other nations,” Finelli says. “It’s a geopolitical lynchpin. It borders six other nations, and we have friends in India and Israel, and men in Afghanistan.”

Going to Iraq meant a lot of sacrifices for Corporal Finelli. When you find out you are going to war, he says, “You put your head in your hands and you cry. But then you get out there and do you do a good job. Everything changes at home, and when you go away, the world continues without you.” Even as political support for the war deteriorates, Finelli speaks of his courageous brothers and sisters in arms. “I could see in others’ faces: ‘Even though the politicians may not care about us, I’m going to sit here and do my job anyway.’”

Pretty amazing story, read the whole thing.

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