Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Difference between "Friends" and Friends

On a recent evening, I was witness to a sad sight. A good man, dedicated to his job and his compatriots, a top-notch operator in the truest sense of the word, is leaving Afghanistan, probably for a while, perhaps forever. So we had a going away party for him, prearranged so that everyone had a chance to attend. Advance notice is everything in this town.

We arranged transportation, paid for dinner, drinks, etc. And how many showed? Five. Myself, two of his co-workers, and two guys from one of our clients who were there for the free drinks. With the exception of myself, the people invited had known him for years, depended on him for protection and security, literally trusted their lives into his care. And could they be bothered to appear? No. Sad. And pathetic.

Perhaps it’s indicative of the relationships that develop in this business. Perhaps it’s indicative of the people one meets in this business. I don’t know. What I do know is that if I spent the majority of my adult life depending on others for my personal and physical security, I would hope that when that relationship ends, I would have the stones to at least take the guy out for drinks. Or show up when he's the one buying the drinks.

Fucking assholes.

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