I often tell stories here, never told this one.
Watching all the shit yesterday and now today on Capital Hill I just need to say this.
When I moved to DC after grad school I didn't know anybody. Anna, this Hispanic women I worked with, often invited me to her house. Me, her, and her husband would eat well and drink a lot of wine.
One time sitting in their backyard she said something like "when Don was a hostage ...."
I was like what did you just say, when were you a hostage?
He got up, said I could stay the night if I wanted, but it wasn't something he talked about and went inside.
I was like WTF Anna!
Well I would learn Don was one of the hostages taken in Iran and held for more than 440 days. It was his first post after starting to work for the State Department (which he worked for still at the time). He wanted to change the world and working for the State Department seemed like the way to do it.
Then she told me something I will NEVER FORGET.
That the night he came home they sat in the same chairs we were sitting in. Hugged and cried a lot.
The next morning she awoke to him putting on a suit. She was like, "what are you doing Don?" He said, "I need to go to work."
Are there hacks at the State Department that don't care? Sure there are, just like with any large organization.
But when I reflect on Chris Stevens and the State Department in general, I think of Don. They were both trying to change the world.
As a military brat a thing that pains me is I have not served my country. Can you imagine (I can't) with a MBA from Harvard, you can pick your job, and instead you decide to be a civil servant and be told, "we're sending you to Tehran."
And both men were happy about it.