When Shawnie Comes Marching Home...
03/18/08 Daily News Editorial
Shawn Sage has a Marine's determination.
Although the Simi Valley foster teen's dreams of entering the Corps early were dashed when an anti-war judge blocked him from early enlistment, Sage hasn't given up on his plans to serve his country.
He's counting the days until his eighteenth birthday - June 7. "The very next day," he says, "I'm going to the recruiting office and sign."
That Commissioner Marilyn Mackel's decision deprived him of a possible $10,000 bonus doesn't concern Sage. He's as eager as ever. "I can't wait," he says.
And if his commitment to the Corps weren't testament enough to his willingness to serve, Sage's past few weeks in the limelight have made him all the readier. He's already done battle against both political correctness and the media.
"I feel just a little bit overwhelmed," Sage confesses. "Now I know why Britney Spears is crazy. I never thought (my story) would get this big." He's sure shown he's got the heart. And if he can handle the paparazzi, he can handle anything.
Who wrote this?
Did they really just say, "if he can handle the paparazzi, he can handle anything."?
Have the paparazzi been shooting BULLETS at Britney Spears?
I mean, we all knew Paris Hilton had a hole in her head, but it wasn't the result of photog armed with a Nikon and a Glock.
Perhaps we should consider sending the paparazzi over to Falluja, instead of this kid who probably just got his driver's license last year.
(More after the jump....)
We're talking about a young man who, at the age of 17, wants to be a sniper for the Marines TODAY and, apparently, the DN thinks he'll do "just fine" because he can handle photographers and reporters.
Photographers and reporters = IED and bullets whizzing past your skull in a 130 degree war zone...
Of course, it makes all the sense in the world to me that a kid who has been in the L.A. County foster care system for the last 15 years would choose upon his 18th birthday to immediately become a ward of the federal government as a Marine.
It's a simple and quite natural leap from one f'd up government program to another.
And it's interesting that he's willing to fight for something he has never truly experienced; freedom.
Shawn, when you turn 18 buddy, go stand outside that court, raise your fists in the air and shout "I'm free, goddammit!" until you fall to your knees with the realization that indeed, sir, on that day you are free of the government making decisions for you and on that day indeed, sir, you are a man free to make your own choices.
Why that choice would include signing up for the Marines the next morning is beyond me.
Wouldn't a free man take at least 24 hours to seriously consider how much that freedom is worth before giving it away for a three year stint, a rifle and ten thousand bucks?
Hell, as it turns out, they're not even gonna give you the ten thousand bucks...
All I'm saying Shawn, is be free first.
Experience freedom first.
Later on, you'll have a much better idea of what you're really fighting for.