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Prayers for an Alumnus

January 9, 2011

As I’ve stated in my About Me page, I hope to provide some education about the Merchant Marine from time to time here on this blog. I am by no means an expert and to do not claim to be but I will do everything I can to present facts that can be verified, with links if possible.

DH is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. It is one of the 5 federal service academies. It is also one of the seven maritime schools; the other 6 being state-run schools. If things haven’t changed, when one graduates from USMMA they have the choice of going active duty in ANY of the armed forces or sailing commercially in the merchant marine and having an 8-year naval reserve (individual ready-reservist) commitment.

I’m bringing all of this up because of the recent tragedy in Arizona. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is the spouse of USMMA class of ’86 alumni NASA Commander Mark Kelly.

Those alumnus who go active duty obviously risk their lives. Those that sail commercially and serve our domestic and economic interests face on the job hazards or threats in hostile waters (ex.,  pirate attacks on the rise of late). They do their jobs and take some comfort that spouses and families are safe and taken care of by the support networks we build, even those not in the military.

They do not go to work expecting a call that there has been a shooting at home. Commander Kelly was at work in Houston preparing for an upcoming historic space mission when he received word of his wife’s shooting. My thoughts and prayers go out to this alumni family whom I have never met, though it would be my honor.

Here are two news links posted by the USMMA Alumni Foundation page on FB.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/08/arizona-congresswoman-shot-married-astronaut/

http://www.culturemap.com/newsdetail/01-08-11-nasa-astronaut-mark-kelly-is-at-rep-garbrielle-giffords-side-following-her-surgery/

Here is an additional article link:

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/kings-pointers-prayers-with-giffords-family-1.2598294

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One comment

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