Iraq and other foreign military adventures often seem so far removed, so when I got this most recent email from my friend and colleague Quan about what he has been doing for the past 6 years, it brought things home for me. I may not agree with the policies of the administration, but I thank Quan and his buddies that there are men and women of courage who are manning the battlestations. Here is his letter in its entirety.
After 9/11 I volunteered myself back on active duty with the Marine Corps. As some of you may have heard, I was part of the invasion force in Iraq March 2003. I was eventually released from active duty and returned back to the U.S.
At the beginning of 2004, I was recruited by the State Department to go back into the the Middle East. I worked for the office of DSS (Diplomatic Security Service)/HTOP (High Threat Operations); I guess the HTOP says it all.
Prior to 9/11, I was enjoying life & running my own boutique headhunting business. During the past several years, I always knew that I would return to that business. Even though the 007 lifestyle fulfilled the machismo aspect of my life, I missed the business competitiveness that exists in the headhunting.
Turning the page…
For the past six months I have been helping my friend run his headhunting business in South America. We have offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. If anyone is going to be in the area please look me up. Managing 120+ people is interesting; very much like babysitting.
Wish me luck!
I leave you with these final thought.
Regardless of your politics, please remember that there are still many of our fellow Americans in harm’s way. A lot of people say that they “support the troops.” I hope that it isn’t just election time rhetoric.
The next time you’re at the airport and see an 18 year old service member in uniform, approach him/her and say the following words that will change his/her life… “Thanks.”
For us, who have worn the uniform, those words are better than any medal/awards that politicians could ever come up with… especially coming from our fellow Americans.
BTW, you don’t have to thank me… I have volunteered for everything that I’ve been part of.
Quan M. Nguyen
“For Americans war is almost all of the time a nuisance, and military skill is a luxury like Mah-Jongg. But when the issue is brought home to them, war becomes as important, for the necessary period, as business or sport. And it is hard to decide which is likely to be the more ominous for the Axis — an American decision that this is sport, or that it is business.”
-D. W. Brogan, The American Character