It would make sense that despite the high stress and long hours, the job of a military recruiter is one of the safest in the armed services. You’re on your home turf, so to speak, helping teenagers make future plans. It’s definitely a shocking tragedy to be killed … murdered … in your office. You had no idea enemies were right outside your door here in the U.S.A.
This week’s shooting death of four U.S. Marines in their Chattanooga, Tennessee, offices struck a nerve for me. Two of my fellow Marines — my executive officer and a sergeant co-worker — were among the 168 killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. My heart goes out to the four recent victims and the massive ripples set in motion by their deaths. So many are touched: their families, their neighbors, their co-workers, all the people at schools and in the community the recruiters came into contact with, and the young men and women the recruiters had successfully convinced to join the elite Corps.
It’s devastating. Even now, in 2015, I still get choked up when I reflect on 1995. This week is a reminder that life is precious and unpredictable.