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Linkmeister

No Roger Staubach, either.

semper fubar

Must do a lot of good for the morale of his classmates at West Point too. I bet lots of them have better, more lucrative things they could be doing at this point in their lives than serve out their obligation to the military.

The Heretik

Deftly done, Lance.

Lance

Link, as always, thanks for the Link. You're the meister. I forgot about Staubach. Didn't the Navy let David Robinson out early? Of course there wasn't a war on then.

Semper, Good to see you. And you're right. I should see if I can dig up the casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan for his graduating class.

Joe, thanks. I needed that.

Small Axe

Great post, Lance. The Army can't find enough warm bodies and officers are resigning in droves. There's no excuse for letting this kid renege on his service committment. It's shameful.

Bush sets the tone.

apocalipstick

Actually, the Navy didn't let David Robinson out, even though it might have been a good idea. He grew, like 7 inches during his years at the Naval Academy and was physically unable to serve in any combat capacity. The Admiral approached the Navy and requested that he be allowed to serve as a recruiter and play NBA ball, even stipulating that he would not travel and miss any duty. The Navy nixed it. He didn't play as a rookie until he was about 26 years old.

Linkmeister

Close, apocalipstick (wottaname!). He was actually 24 years old. Drafted in 1987 by the Spurs, but he served his two-year commitment to the USN and didn't enter the league till 1989.

Then there was Napoleon McCallum, who served part-time for a year while playing for the Raiders, then had a three-year delay before playing football full-time.

By contrast, of course, Ted Williams lost 5+ years to military service in WW II and Korea.

apocalipstick

Thanks, linkmeister. I had to pull the Admiral's age out of thin air.

On Ted Williams: "Very few people get the chance to be the best in the world at even one thing. He was the best at three--hitting a baseball, flying a fighter plane, and fishing."

Josh Peyton

You know I was in the same company (D4) with Josh at West Point, and you would be hard pressed to find a better guy in the world. I also currently serve at Fort Bragg,NC with a former West Point baseball teammate of mine, Mike Scioletti, who ironically was drafted by the Whitesox and unfortunately never had the opportunity to pursue it. Mike and I are both combat veterans and luckily we made it back in one piece. Some of our comrades weren't so lucky. I find it hard to believe that any of you making comments here realize how difficult it is to survive one day at West Point, much less graduate from there. In addition, as non-chalantly as you discuss serving your country, death, and Pat Tilman, you should all be sprinting to your local Army recruiting office to sign up. I just hope Josh Holden is there to greet you with a warm smile, send you off to Jump School in Georgia, then ship you this way to the 82nd ABN DIV. We'll welcome all of you with open arms, red berets, and a nice 8 mile jog on Ardiennes street at 0630 hours. By the way, if you need directions to your local recruiters office, call my cell at 803.467.9680. I'm sure I can guide you in the right direction.

ampad

Using the logic in this article, Pat Tillman should have joined the Army after completing school at ASU... but why did he go to the NFL? To fullfill a life long dream of playing with the best I would imagine... as is Josh Holden. He is a positive image for the Army and could benefit recruiting. I believe a positive role model playing in front of thousands and generating a lot of positive press (sans this article) would be much more beneficial to the Academy, the Army and the Nation than one more LT working some desk at Sill, or holding a staff position in Iraq

Gary

Lance,

I just came across your blog over Josh Holden, and I have to say I agree with you 110%. I have a unique connection with Josh Holden. I was in the same Company (D2, not D4, apocalipstick) with him at West Point and we were on the football team together for a few years. He was actually my back up as running back before I blew out my shoulder.

To agree with you, we all knew what we were signing up for when we went to West Point. I do not agree with the Academy's policy of letting Officers in the US Army out of their committment to play pro sports. I think it is very unfair to those who graduate from USMA and actually serve their committment and go to combat zones and do their duty, plus it sends a very bad signal to those highschoolers wanting to enter the Academy. I wish I could do my duty on a baseball field. Must be nice.

There is another guy that is serving his committment time as a football coach for the Army team, Clarence Holmes, not sure how he did it, but he is drawing the same pay as other Active Duty Captains, most who have been to Iraq twice....he hands out towels and water bottles...pretty amazing. He has never deployed, probably never applied camouflage to his face, yet he still gets the same benefits/pay as those who do their duty. The Academy is a great place, but it is way off mark in several areas, including not holding ALL of their graduates to their committments.

West Point needs to do an azimuth check, cadets join to be Officers in the military, not over rated atheltes and sideline jockeys.

Best,

Gary

PS apocalipstick, West Point wasn't THAT difficult, so stop tooting your horn. And as for Airborne School, I did it with a broken foot, so, keep your red beret.

NO NAME

I want to comment on Josh Holden. I know him personally and let me tell you he is no Patt Tillman!! Getting up close and personal with him in "real life" I witnessed a very big headed, arogant creep who thinks that he is better then you. Maybe not in his words but his actions!!! I think he has been programmed for a long time to think he deserves top treatment, leaving him to be a very shallow individual. He can fake a smile and go on and on about his love for god, kids, and his fellow friends at westpoint but the truth is he has no "heart" In a sense I feel sorry for him because maybe if he was taught more about "heart" in his career he would be a much better team player in everything he does
thank you
No name

Ken Houghton

I know plenty of people who jumped "into the real world" with $115K in debt.

Very few of them got a job with a $200K minimum first-year salary.

Chase

I also know him personally and I think he’s a great guy. He’s a family guy and a good friend. Come on, if you were in the same situation… you would do the same. I’ve done my time in the military and I’m not going to bash on the guy for wanting to play a dream game. He is still serving his country in the off season and (as for loving kids) having camps to teach kids the game of baseball. That’s more than I can say for myself. I think we need to take a step back and realize that serving West Point is no easy task. Let’s cut him a break and hope that he does make it through the Reds farm system. This can only help the Army grow in recruiting.

John

Josh was in D4 for three years Gary. Which running back were you exactly Gary?

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