Today’s NY Times has a flattering profile of Shannon Kent, a 35-year old woman in the US Navy, who was killed last month in northern Syria:
Apparently, much about her military career has been kept more or less secret—since she was working on various “Special Forces” operations.
She seems to have been a woman of considerable talent. The Times writes:
Chief Kent spoke a half-dozen Arabic dialects and four other languages. She was one of the first women to complete the rigorous course required for other troops to accompany Navy SEALs on raids. She could run a 3:30 marathon, do a dozen full-arm-hang pull-ups and march for miles with a 50-pound rucksack.
She did this while raising two boys, now ages 3 and 18 months, and, for a time, battling cancer. But what was she given an opportunity to do with those talents? Put simply, to find the imagined or real enemies of the US state and to find out what they knew and, when needed, to kill them. That hardly seems to be a worthwhile life for such a woman or for anyone. So many other things that she might have done!
I’m sure that the husband she leaves behind will mourn her and miss her terribly and, in all likelihood, be proud of what she did. And, eventually, her two boys will hear the stories about their mother and be both sad and proud.
But, as hard as it might be for her husband and kids to hear, I’d argue that it was a waste for her to die doing what she was doing. That’s not why we’re born into this earth. This nation has sacrificed far too many of its young and talented people to defend a world order that deserves no defense. It’s way past time to say “No more!”