Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Army sports. The West Point athletes always amazed me. They did the same things I did, the same training, took the same classes...but were also so good at their own sports that they competed at the NCAA level against athletes at other colleges. Alex's story isn't all that rare, surprisingly. Along with him, I can count three other soldier-athletes I know of who have had the opportunity to go to the Olympics, one of whom chose to pursue that goal (Mike Benedosso, 110lb boxer), and two who chose not to. One of those two, Emily Hannenburg, a fencer, is now in Iraq leading a platoon and the other, Laura Walker, was killed in Afghanistan some years ago.
It's a rare privilege to be awed by ones peers, but a privilege nonetheless. I only hope that at the end of my year here, I'll feel as though I've done something to have earned being in the same category of these others who have given so much--quite literally their lives and their dreams.
As for now, I still feel like an impostor, much as I did the whole time I was at West Point, as though some twist of fate has allowed me the privilege of seeing behind the curtain, but that at any minute, someone will check a roster and say, "wait...you're not supposed to be here..."
I do like what my friend Mark said about my job, which gives me some comfort:
While we may often only see the face of a watch all of the gears behind the scenes are even more important to the operation of the watch.