Kim du Toit has a picture of a poster from a previous war entitled “What did you do today … for freedom?“ It turns out I have been thinking about that a lot the last few days. I just woke up a short while ago so I’ll write about yesterday instead of today.
What did I do for freedom yesterday? I reviewed proposals for some Navy money and voted on which should be given funding and which should be dropped this time. Then I worked on a portion of a solution to plug a security hole in our computers.
But I can’t tell you how many times I think about Adam and wonder if there was a countermeasure for Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosives Devices (VBIEDs) that I should have thought of. Without more details on what exactly happened to Adam I don’t know if any of my ideas could have made any difference. But I keep thinking maybe there was something more I should have done with the ideas I did have or were suggested to me. I presented them and sold them as best I could to management last fall but they didn’t go anywhere that I know of. They could have been passed on to people better able to implement than I and classified–I just don’t know. But could I have followed up more and pushed harder? Could I have gotten something implemented and deployed in time to have prevented Adams death? Probably not. But what about the next VBIED? Is there one that next week or next month or next year that will kill or injury Walter or my nephew or a few years from now after my niece graduates from West Point? Is there something I could have done or should do to prevent it? What if I had found someone to give my information on people searching for bomb building information sooner? Technically, it’s not my job. My job is with computer security. I’m working to keep our computers and computer networks safe from attack. Worthwhile endeavors in our fight to preserve our freedoms, but I often feel it’s not as pressing as solving the simple brute force attacks used by our current adversaries.
What to do? Do my job as best I can, keep thinking, and keep feeding ideas to those who’s job it is to solve the immediate problems. It’s time to get ready for work. Today and every day is important.