This Is No Drill

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After 8 years in the US Navy, I left in 1968 and began working for a government subcontractor on military projects. One of my first tasks was installing new communications gear at the Naval Communications Station San Francisco (physically in Stockton, CA). The original of a similar copy of this message (received by all NCS units 5 minutes after the initial attack) was framed on the wall of the Commanding Officer’s office. I can still remember seeing it for the first time and the emotions it stirred within me. My father and four of his brothers served in the ensuing global conflict

The act, 5 minutes before, that triggered this message began a period in which the American people and their leaders, for the most part, displayed the true strength of character with which we used to be imbued. I was born early in this period (June 1942) and was nurtured by those people. Many of the senior people steering our corporations and governments today also matured during this period.

What happened along the way to turn us into such churlish, avaricious, self-serving antitheses of responsible human beings?

This has to change or we will succeed in doing to ourselves and our country what the Axis Powers never could. This is no drill!

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