Time Magazine has an excellent article about the 2005 graduating class of West Point. This is the class that had just completed Beast Barracks when September 11th happened. Today 911 cadets will graduate. From the article……..

What, after all, could be tougher than West Point, where failure to have your books arranged by descending height on your desk can earn you hours of forced marching in the rain? “That’s how they get us fired up for Iraq,” says one. “After four years here, anything’s better.” Another suspects that for all the training, they still don’t know what they are in for. “West Point is an academic institution, not a training ground,” he says. “I think a lot of us are going to be surprised to find that it’s a no-s___ business when you leave here.

I smiled when I read the “After four years here, anything’s better.” because that is essentially what my husband and my son said when they graduated from West Point. But I think that is what West Point was supposed to do. I do know that for my husband and son and many of their friends, they were well prepared.

Here is another sobering quote…….”Twenty-three times since 9/11, the cadets have stood in the mess hall at silent attention for a fallen graduate.”

And this is another “where do we find such Americans?” quote……

Just after Sept. 11, Lennox was walking around the post with his command sergeant when a cadet approached him. The cadet told the general that he wanted to leave, enlist, get out there in the fight.
The instinct made Lennox proud, but as more and more reports surfaced of students wanting to quit so they could be deployed right away, Lennox grew concerned. At dinner on Sept. 13, he stood looking out over the entire corps from the balcony high above the mess hall and delivered his message. “I preached tactical patience,” he says. “I told them that they’d be needed. As officers.”

Anyway, this is a great read.