Monday, January 11, 2010

Secret Squirrel - War of the Unknown Warriors

This location has certain aspects which can only be spoken about in generalities. The kind of items that are known but unspoken based on OPSEC (Operational Security) and the basic rule of thumb that you aren’t supposed to know about what is going on there.

In the Television show MASH, there was Colonel Flagg, who showed up whenever something unusual was going on and made his entrance & exit in a way that no one knew where he was going or where he came from. The character was purposely set up to be a comically inept James Bond figure, and by doing so, lampoon the culture of secrecy and those that are in that profession.

In Afghanistan, there are groups that fall into the “secret squirrel” category and they are doing the most dangerous work. The attack on the base in Khost demonstrates the nature of work these silent warriors perform in the field, accomplishing things that likely most of us will never know about or be aware of. They are a necessary component of the battle and the struggle between our country and those who wish us harm.

We salute the troops as they are the visible aspect of our country’s defense. We should also salute those who work in the service of our country, and do so anonymously. They are not allowed to bask in the limelight, and are rarely, if ever, recognized for the hard work they perform. They spend countless months/years away from their families and homes, doing the necessary work that keeps up safe. There is a wall at CIA headquarters that has 90 stars on it. Each star symbolizes an agent who was killed in the course of service to protect our country and our way of life, known but to a few.

Sir Winston Churchill summed up the following sentiment in describing those who work in anonymity, who will never be known and do the important tasks that will never be written into our history books.

"War of the Unknown Warriors"

“ This is no war of chieftains or of princes, of dynasties or national ambition; it is a war of peoples and of causes. There are vast numbers, not only in this island but in every land, who will render faithful service in this war but whose names will never be known, whose deeds will never be recorded. This is a war of the Unknown Warriors...”
— BBC Broadcast, London, 14 July 1940

In Afghanistan, there are many who fall into the “Secret Squirrel” category and are the unknown heroes of our land. We salute them and send our thanks for all their efforts as we need those who willingly will sacrifice and risk their lives and do so without the recognition or praise. I am personally grateful for their efforts and send my thanks to them & their families for their honorable service.

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