As some NRO readers might remember, in the Spring of 2006, I was granted an age waiver and joined the United States Army Reserve – as a young-feeling but slightly pudgy 37 year old lawyer. Now, more than a year later (and 15 pounds lighter), the time has come for the next phase of my service. Barring any last-minute developments, I will be leaving for Iraq very soon.
I’m honored to have the chance to deploy with one of America’s most storied combat units during what could be the decisive year in the Iraq conflict, and I hope and pray that I can serve the unit and my fellow soldiers courageously and effectively. This is going to be a tough year – especially for my wife, Nancy, and young children (Camille is 8 and Austin is 6) – so your prayers would be deeply appreciated.
While I hope to be able to keep in touch via e-mail and even post occasionally, there is one thing I definitely wanted to note before I left. While it is true that we live in truly contentious times, and my own work has led me to come into rather dramatic ideological and legal conflict with my fellow citizens on the Left, I have never experienced anything other than the greatest consideration and respect from my ideological opponents when the subject of my military service has come up. Even opposing attorneys have bent over backwards to accommodate my occasionally unpredictable schedule. In fact, some of the most moving expressions of support have come from friends who are, respectively, a brilliant, aggressive, and dedicated Democratic House staff attorney and a hard-Left college professor in New England. You guys know who you are, and you have my eternal gratitude.
I’m not gone quite yet (I’ll stick around another couple weeks), but I’m in the final phases of preparation for deployment and don’t expect to post much more before I leave. With others preparing for their second, third, or fourth tours, I figure it’s my turn now.