The recent crisis of confidence in our economic system and the turmoil that it has caused in the lives of our families and friends has caused many of us to be concerned, worried, even depressed. We see loss of jobs, foreclosures of homes, postponement of retirement plans, and much more. It is incredibly discouraging and disheartening to many, until it is put into the perspective of what kinds of challenges our servicemen and women in troubled areas abroad face every day. And the challenges do not stop when their tours(s) of duty ends. In many cases, it marks the beginning; and the new challenges they face can be monumental. The “Cost of Freedom” weekend will once again explore the real world with real people who have stood in the gap, fought our fight, so that we might enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted. “All gave some, and some gave all” will become an apparent theme for this special weekend, and once again, we hope that you will go home with the deepest sense of love for your country and for those who protect it.
This weekend would not be possible without the help of each and every one of you. Many hands make for light work and sharing the load make all things possible. I have always found that the more you involve yourself with the weekend, the more you will get out of it. Although this is a “Thank You” to everyone, I want to give a special thanks to Captain Ted Harwood, USN, Retired, and his wife, Nancy, who not only helped in coordinating the invitation and transportation for several of our honored guests; they are also hosting our Tailgator on Saturday morning. Ted is a 1974 graduate of USNA, but as far as I am concerned, he is our classmate. Anything we needed, Ted was there to say “yes,” and then some. The weekend would not have happened without the magic tricks of Bob Zimmerman, Paul Hick, Hugh Blomeke, and Ron Stowell again, but we can’t share with you yet the secret to their success. We are thrilled to have Karen (Fosse) Kline and her husband, Steve, with us for the third year in a row, which is a barometer that what we are doing is “good stuff” and blessed from above. And we believe you will enjoy hearing from Bob Dennis and Steve McLaughlin this year, both reflecting on what USNA has meant to them.
Southside High School, Rockville Center, NY, will be represented this weekend by students who are involved in the Wounded Warrior Project, and who will bring back to the student body what they learned this weekend.
And thank you to all the spouses of those who are taking credit, because we know who really get it done.
— Bob Madden