- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 18, 2003

Noble: The 1.2 million members of the National Guard and Reserves, especially the 130,000 currently deployed in the war against terrorism.
The call could come at any time, diminishing income, delaying promotions and demanding long separations from friends and loved ones. It's a call that they chose to answer the call to duty, to service, to sacrifice. The call to take their place in the long gray line of warriors in order to maintain the thin red line of heroes.
The call could send them anywhere. Reservists and Guardsmen are shooting at and being shot at by the remains of the Taliban in Afghanistan. They're in Guantanamo Bay standing guard over those already caught. While some are tearing down Iraqi air defenses in the No Fly Zones, others are building up schools or healing bodies in any one of the 84 countries in which members of the Guard and Reserves are deployed.
The call isn't easy to follow. They face long deployments, dangerous assignments, and often boring duty. Since they are civilians, most of them take pay cuts when the call comes. While employers are required by law to maintain the jobs of those mobilized, they aren't required to contribute to their pension plan or provide health insurance.
The call affects families in other ways as well. Adjustments don't come easily after year-long separations. Marriages suffer, and in some cases, don't survive. Friendships become more distant.
Yet, the Guards and Reservists are proud to answer the call. They're proud of their sacrifice. They'd offer themselves again. Reservist Sgt. Todd Garrett said, "I love my country. Us going away is a necessary evil. We all have to make sacrifices, just as our forefathers did." His wife, Shea, added, "I'd much rather keep him at home. But I'm proud of him. I understand what he's doing." At the conclusion of a recent USA Today story profiling the sacrifices of just-returned Special Forces Sgt. Denis McCarthy and his wife, Elizabeth, Sgt. McCarthy said that he would go if called again. "I want to do the right thing," he said. Mrs. McCarthy commented, "I'll be proud if he has to go back again. I believe in what they're doing."
For answering the call, the Reservists and Guardsmen are the Nobles of the week.

Knaves: Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Brian Patrick Regan, for his systemic betrayal of the trust of his nation.
Master sergeants are supposed to be the backbone of the armed services, not the backstabbers. Yet, that is precisely what Master Sgt. Regan stands accused of.
Specifically, Master Sgt. Regan is on trial for attempting to sell information, such as the orbits and locations of U.S spy satellites, that could have helped the Iraqis conceal their weapons of mass destruction programs. He also attempted to sell highly classified secrets to the People's Republic of China and Libya.
He acquired that level of trust during a 20-year stint in the Air Force, 10 of which were spent in military intelligence. He handled materials marked even higher than top secret.
He also tried to hand them out, even though apparently he didn't get any buyers. When federal authorities picked him up, off a Zurich to Dulles flight, they found a notebook with codes describing images of Chinese and Iraqi missile launchers and addresses showing the locations of the Chinese, Iraqi and Libyan embassies in Switzerland and Austria.
Even more damning, on his home computer, federal authorities found a cover letter he had written to Saddam Hussein proclaiming "I am willing to commit espionage against the United States by providing your country with highly classified information" at a price tag of $13 million.
Yet, Master Sgt. Regan wasn't simply trying to trade information for filthy lucre. He was actually trying to trade for lives the lives of his former brothers in arms in the service, the lives of the outstanding individuals serving their country like Sgt. Denis McCarthy or Sgt. Todd Garrett. In his lucre love letter to Saddam, he wrote that the fee he wanted was "a small price to pay for what you receive."
A death sentence is a small thing to ask for such a stark betrayal of trust.


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