It's difficult at times to listen to some of the candidates talk during debates about the military, mainly because the focus is always on how much more each of them wants to spend. A billion, a trillion, it's a numbers game that people can argue back and forth.
I am happy that military issues and foreign policy problems (Russia in Ukraine, China in South China Sea, etc.) are being discussed. I also know that each candidate is being fed what to say from someone that is doing the research for them. Although Mrs. Fiorina's "rebuild the 6th Fleet" comments are somewhat comical (her writer needs a short lesson in COCOMs vs. force providers), I and most Americans get her point. But I see a few things that are sadly missing from the discussion that I would be absolutely impressed to see brought up:
I got a call at 1030 on Saturday. I was in line at the NEX checkout with my three kids, but as my default is to always answer my phone, I did. It was my mom.
"Mom, I'm kinda busy, can I call you back in ten minutes?"
She sounded choked up a bit, so I hung on, until she said "Riley didn't make it."
My dog has been living at my parent's house since I moved to Hawaii. I went on leave these past two weeks to attend a wedding and visit my family back home. The last three days I was there, he wasn't feeling well. German Shorthair Pointers (or GSPs, for short) are supposed to be full of energy, even ones that are 7 years old. I left on 30 October...Riley didn't last but another day.
Despite having been separated for well over a year, it still hit me hard. I had started making plans to have him move back in with us as soon as we moved to Connecticut. I always felt guilty that my parents had taken him, since they have cats that live inside who were thus relegated to the basement. But I really felt guilty because Riley had been a good friend, or at least as much of one that a dog can be to a human. Leaving him with someone else just felt...wrong.
Riley also taught me a lot about leadership. The more I sat back and thought about it, the more I realized that many of the every day things I take for granted I learned as a dog owner. Thus it is only fitting that after his death, I ensure that Riley's leadership lessons live on.
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