Pirates in Washington

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I had a conversation yesterday with a 19 year old student at JMU, from southwest Virginia, who told me how one of her high school friends had changed when she saw him over Christmas, on leave from Iraq. “He used to be happy go lucky, open, friendly, quick to joke and have fun. He stood tall, with energy. Now he is physically changed. He is constantly stooped, he doesn’t joke, he refuses to talk about anything — not one thing — having to do with the past 9-10 months he has been deployed.” This same day I received an email from a man who concluded his concerns with “I am glad I am seventy years of age and not twenty.”

We have pirates in Washington, who have gone beyond stealing our national wealth and reputation, and who are working on our hope and spirit. What can be done?

2:32 pm on January 23, 2004