Monday, October 22, 2007


This morning I was playing a disastrous game as white on line. We had started vying for control of the center from the gates. Soon I was losing material and my position was cascading into a nightmare. Stubbornly determined to fight to the bitter end, my pieces were repositioning into a small defensive force part way up the right side of the board. Then the site crashed and the game disappeared into eternity.

Fast forward to this evening. Reading the news I followed a link to and read the Presidents speech where he presents the Medal of Honor to a fallen Navy SEAL. People like this actually exist and are fighting bravely probably even as I type this. Its amazing when brave souls have the courage to battle the enemy in the worst of terrains, outnumbered and in a lost position. This morning I pretended in a mock battle. This afternoon someone who gave their life with the spirit of a true soldier is honored.

Two excerps from the speech:

Today, we add Lieutenant Michael Murphy's name to the list of recipients who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Deep in the mountains of Afghanistan, this brave officer gave his life in defense of his fellow Navy SEALs. Two years later, the story of his sacrifice humbles and inspires all who hear it. And by presenting Michael Murphy's family with the Medal of Honor that he earned, a grateful nation remembers the courage of this proud Navy SEAL.

On June 28th, 2005, Michael would give his life for these ideals. While conducting surveillance on a mountain ridge in Afghanistan, he and three fellow SEALs were surrounded by a much larger enemy force. Their only escape was down the side of a mountain -- and the SEALs launched a valiant counterattack while cascading from cliff to cliff. But as the enemy closed in, Michael recognized that the survival of his men depended on calling back to the base for reinforcements. With complete disregard for his own life, he moved into a clearing where his phone would get reception. He made the call, and Michael then fell under heavy fire. Yet his grace and upbringing never deserted him. Though severely wounded, he said "thank you" before hanging up, and returned to the fight -- before losing his life.

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