Mystery Cloaks Couple's Firing as Risks to U.S.Meanwhile, in Iraq, our soldiers seem to be fighting for something that's fast disappearing over here, according to this letter to his battalion's wives, written by Lt. Col. Mark A. Smith, a battalion commander:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - May 5, the day that changed Aliakbar and Shahla Afshari's lives, began like most others. They shared coffee, dropped their 12-year-old son off at Cheat Lake Middle School here, then drove to their laboratories at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal agency that studies workplace hazards.
But that afternoon, their managers pulled the Afsharis aside and delivered a stunning message: they had failed secret background checks and were being fired. No explanations were offered and no appeals allowed. They were escorted to the door and told not to return.
"Ask yourself," he said in his letter last week, "how in a land of extremes, during times of insanity, constantly barraged by violence, and living in conditions comparable to the stone ages, your marines can maintain their positive attitude, their high spirit, and their abundance of compassion?" Then he answered his own question. "They defend a nation unique in all of history: One of principle, not personality; one of the rule of law, not landed gentry; one where rights matter, not privilege or religion or color or creed; where 'chief among these are the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' They are United States Marines, representing all that is best in soldierly virtues."Hurry back. There's some fighting to do here too.