Happy Thanksgiving

Your blogger is in the DC area where he and Gina will celebrate, with thanks, the presence of his two sons and their families, both in the US together for the first time in more than eight years.

This year we all, I think, have much to be thankful for. What the future holds – with economic uncertainty, governmental gridlock and, in the US, automatic “sequestration” of Defense Department funding – is less than promising. Some claim that the US Navy may be reduced to its smallest fleet since 1915. What impact will the funding reductions have on the Navy Medical Department? Will the cuts require force reductions that leave a medical establishment too small to properly serve our sailors and Marines? Democracies seem to go through cycles like this – not to our great benefit.

On another note, may I recommend for your more serious holiday reading a simply superb history: Sir Max Hastings’s “Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945“. I find his descriptions, based on experiences of those who were there – of incredible courage and individual “small” heroism shown at every level of that most mammoth and horrible of human efforts – to be humbling in the extreme. Hasting also is unsparing in his criticism of craven colonial callousness or of incompetent military leadership.

As I say, not “joyful” reading, but important.

(c)2011 Thomas L Snyder

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