January 02, 2003
"Felipe, U.S. Marine"
In today's Wall Street Journal, Fox News anchorman David Asman writes proudly of his stepson, Felipe.
Felipe, a Nicaraguan immigrant, arrived in the United States in 1988. But due to the lethal incompetence of the INS, his application for citizenship was never addressed. Three years ago Felipe decided, as he put it, to "earn" his citizenship by joining the Marines. And by September 11, 2001, he had advanced in rank to corporal.
Felipe was in Okinawa at the time of the attack. He called us shortly after to say that he was likely to be shipped with fellow Marines "to the region." He wouldn't say exactly where that was, but we figured out when he added, "I'm willing to make the full sacrifice if I have to." My wife had been holding up pretty well until that point.
But then Felipe said something that should be considered by all those with children in the military. "I'm prepared to fight under any condition and fire practically any weapon," Felipe began. "And I'm not the target. You aren't prepared for war and you are the target. So who should be afraid for whom?" That simple wisdom stopped us cold. For a brief moment he had forced us to stop worrying about him and consider the risks of simply living in a free country.
Felipe's point is a sobering reminder of why we must fight -- at home and abroad.
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