Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Home of the Brave Launches

Full disclosure: Home of the Brave: Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror is published by the company I work for. It is also a very worthy book in my biased opinion. Co-written by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Home profiles heroes from the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last night Steve Forbes generously hosted a launch party in the Forbes building. Weinberger of course, was a longtime friend and colleague of the Forbes family, and former publisher of Forbes magazine. Also in attendance were four highly decorated genuine heroes, whose stories are told in Home of the Brave: Army National Guard Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester (Silver Star), Air Force Master Sergeant William Markham (Silver Star), Marine Sergeant Marco Martinez (Navy Cross), and Army Lieutenant Colonel Mark Mitchell (Distinguished Service Cross).

When introducing the heroes Mr. Forbes mentioned Sergeant Markham, whose boots were the first on the ground in Afghanistan, had another project worthy of promotion. Every year he hosts the Whomper Stomper Open golf tournament to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. This organization provides scholarships and educational counseling to the families of Special operations personnel killed in the line of duty. To learn how to support them, visit their website.

All four heroes were gracious, and we were honored by their presence. Hopefully they will enjoy their stay in New York. In conversation with one, I was struck by the optimism tempered by realism I heard expressed for the situation in Iraq. It’s an optimism that the antique media refuses to convey. During his remarks Mr. Forbes made the point that the heroes in the U.S. military will not lose the War on Terror on the battlefield. It’s on the home front where we are most apt to be defeated. Hopefully, in one of his final acts of service, Sec. Weinberger will help steel our resolve.