I have a ritual I perform every Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Those are the Federal Holidays on which, in 2004, I was outside the United States on behalf of the NSA.
I have explained in this series how I drank two Fosters on July 4, 2004, arranged by our base in Iraq for our celebration.
On those three Federal Holidays each year, I drink a Fosters and I read the obituaries of the soldiers killed in Iraq in the area of my direct jurisdiction.
My job there was primarily "force protection," meaning, I was tasked with uncovering any intelligence possibly connected to attacks against our forces.
I did my job to the best of my ability. There is no case in which someone was killed as a result of me missing or misinterpreting something. And I know of many cases in which lives were saved because of my efforts.
But it was war. And men still died in my area of responsibility while I was there. The least I owe them is to remember them. And I pray for the repose of their souls.
They are "My Guys." And I love them. And I will pray for them until I join them.
Rest Eternal grant unto them, O Lord. And may Perpetual Light shine upon them...