Friday, July 08, 2005

Degrees of separation

Yesterday, I happened to be scheduled for 2 meetings in Washington, DC. As is my usual thing, I checked the 'Net before I left the house and was, therefore, completely advised of the situation in London to that point and also about the heightened anxiety in DC regarding our own subway (Metro). I had already planned on riding in with another of our company's folks and checked in with him to make sure he was still going. He was. On the way in, we talked about the bombings and the increased security here. (Along with the need to do more and speculations about what form that "more" should take.) Further devling into current events led us to talk about the SEAL teams members who were killed in Afghanistan. He got a more distant sound in his voice and told me that he'd known one of them, Petty Officer Jeff Lucas of SEAL team 10.

Apparently, they'd been friends before he went into the service and stayed in touch all through his travels. My colleague and his wife attended Lucas' marriage to his wife, Rhonda. Jeff Lucas is survived by not only his wife but his 4-year-old son.

My daughter is 4.

My co-worker and I are both fathers of younger kids and it hit a both a bit about Lucas' death. (He more than I - I didn't actually know Lucas, after all.) I asked my co-worker if he'd has second thoughts about coming in to DC yesterday morning. Sure, he told me. But he wasn't going to let the bastards who killed his friend turn around and kill our spirit. I had nothing to add.

Throughout the day, I pondered the relationship they'd shared and the inspiration to me that Jeff Lucas had suddenly become via a surprise revelation that I was suddenly only 2 degrees of separation away from the man. He and his fellow SEALs stand as a reminder to live, as in the olden times, bravely. Is that not the land we live in? I note today that there are reports the UK underground is back up, at least partially, and that our comrades-in-arms in Britain are stepping out to live life. I grieve with them, and hold them in my highest regards as they inspire, too, to live bravely.