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Weekend Warrior


Fare ye well


While the motivation of our efforts in Minyanville has always been to give something back -- not get something back -- I wanted to share a letter we recently received from a Marine Corps Sergeant stationed in Iraq. Thank you to all who donated Minyanville Tees and cookies to the cause!

May 13, 2003

Dear Mr. Harrison,

As you can see by the date on this letter, mail takes a while here. I wanted to thank you for your letter and the box of goodies. The Marines here appreciate both, as do I. Thank you so much for your prayers and your patriotism, it makes us feel very good about being Marines and Americans when we receive support from home.

On Sept. 11, 2001, I was on a training mission in Palms, CA. When we received news of the attacks, we felt a mixture of emotions but knew that it was only a matter of time before we would meet another nation on the battlefield. Our efforts became focused on ""war fighting"" and achieving brilliance in the basics.

My enlistment ended exactly three months ago but the Marine Corps extended my contract for this operation. I will never complain about putting my life on hold or leaving my family and home 12,000 miles away. I have served beside the finest men of our generation. Warriors with discretion who knew to win the strategic peace by sparing lives of Iraqis that did not need killing. By being kind and courteous to civilians and to be Marines to those who wished us harm. We fought with distinction and professionalism.

We sprinted forward under scud attacks, picked our way through minefields and maddening terrain. We crossed the rivers into the birthplace of man, endured urban combat and finally broke loose and charged 200 miles in one night to seize the city of Tikrit.

In Tikrit, Saddam's birthplace, we swept the streets, picked up trash and broken glass and removed weapons from the hospital and schools. The shops re-opened and we bought bread from the markets, vegetables from the farmers and patrolled the streets with the local cops. We won the strategic peace. Saddam's own people cheered for us, hugged us, kissed our cheeks and shared their whisky. If that is retribution for Sept. 11, then I am satisfied. We did not conquer a nation, we liberated one and unleashed a fury of rejoicing and opportunity.

I know this letter is laden with pathos but I wanted to let you know what we did... for you... for the victims of September 11 and for the people of Iraq. We are your Marine Corps, we are your Marines. We are proud to serve under your flag as guardians of western civilization.

Thank you again for your generous support of me and my Marines.

Semper Fi "Always Faithful"

Sergeant of Marines

As you power down and turn your attention to the important stuff, remember that the money we have is simply a means to an end. It'll buy a lot of things and facilitate a better lifestyle but it won't buy happiness. I can promise you one thing, my friends -- there are a lot of families out there who lost a loved one on Sept. 11 and would gladly trade your stress for theirs. It's simply a matter of perspective, and the sooner we find that balance, the quicker we'll find some smiles.

Have a peaceful weekend.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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