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July 08, 2004

The times, they are a'changin'!

Whether we want them to or not, righty or lefty.

As I've said before, I'm a Rotarian. Rotary is an international service club, and our work starts in our towns, states, and nation - and internationally. If you live in the Leavenworth area and are interested, drop me a line.

Rotary International started the "World Without Polio" campaign - the UN joined us in that campaign, not the other way around, and we do it with UN coordination, but Rotary Foundation money and volunteers.

My club for example, as a club project, sponsors schools in Mosul, Iraq. We gather donations, raise money (thank you Kansas City Chiefs and T-Bones!) and in-kind supplies, and ship 'em off in pallets to the US Army PAO guys near Mosul. The project originally started when one of our club member's son's was the PAO in question, though we have moved beyond that to a more permanent lash-up.

Anyway, locally, we also work as individuals and a club, with the international officers (IOs) attending the US Army Command and General Staff College. Today was IO registration day, and we man a booth at the registration center. (Many of them are quite impressed with The Arsenal, too.)

While I had the shift, I got to meet a piece of history. The first Iraqi officer to attend CGSC. He was appreciative of our club efforts, and of the efforts of the US overall. Sure, he had to feel some pressure to say nice things - but it was still nice to see a guy who was probably a LT in the Iraqi Army the last time I personally was in the area, here to attend school. I also met the 2 Germans, (one of the Germans was from the former East Germany), the three Italians, and one Japanese officer, as well as several East European officers. It's good to see former enemies going to the schools. Perhaps some progress is being made somewhere, eh?