Twenty years ago today - the Ides of March, 2002 - I enlisted in the Army National Guard. Unlike most of the young men and women going through in-processing that day in Boston, I was already a college graduate, I was already married, and I wasn’t exactly young. I was twenty-eight years old. Had a full-time job as a software engineer, had a mortgage. What motivated me to join was a sense that I could be doing more to serve others.
When I was in high school, I had a fast food job in the local shopping mall. I was in Danbury, CT, which was close enough to New York City to attract a lot of business from urbanites looking for a change of scenery on the weekends. This made for very busy weekend shifts, and absolutely insane holiday rushes. Each day as Christmas of my senior year approached, hungry shoppers would be stacked up in twisting lines, five people deep, in front of every restaurant in the food court.