Twenty years ago today, I walked across a stage at Michie Stadium (pronounced 'mikey') and received my diploma from the retiring Chief of Staff of the Army, General Wickham. On that day I was committed to serving 20 years in the army. I was committed to serving until today.
Obviously I changed my mind. And I'm not going to dwell on what might have been, but today, 20 years later, I can't help but think back to who I was then and what the world was like. My class is just starting to make full colonel, and I never thought we'd hit 20 fighting Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. Then again, the world's quite a different place:
1. The big threat was from the Commies.
2. Germans used marks, French used francs, and everyone thought we were going to be using yen.
3. You could tell a soldier in public, because he was the one with short hair.
4. Madonna was just starting her climb to stardom.
5. When was the last time you heard of the Fulda Gap?
So on this Memorial Day weekend, I offer my salute to those of us from the Class of '87 who are still on active duty, those who are serving or have served in the Middle East wars, and those who have paid too high a price.