Friday, November 03, 2006


For Kirk it was like winning the lottery when C asked him to join the company. It was a chance to do something meaningful again, to do the sort of thing that had meant so much to him in the Air Force. Dorothy Sayers has a useful analogy - in one of her books she says after talking to a character about her life the heroine had the uncomfortable feeling she had seen a racehorse pulling a cart. That was Kirk. His experience and skills were almost unique, but he was doing a job thousands of people could have handled just as well, a job that (in the larger scale) meant nothing.

He had to choose quickly, and we both knew what he wanted to do, but we also knew it wasn't something to do lightly. I keep wanting to say that - we didn't choose this easily or simply. We didn't look at eachother and say 'This sounds like fun! Let's head off into a combat zone and wander around for a while!'

In particular, Kirk talked at length to his best friend in California - a co-worker at his company who was a Gulf War veteran, a former helicopter pilot. Our families were extremely close - his wife was one of my dear friends, we were the first babysitters his small daughter ever had. For the past several months they had been going through an incredible crisis (it's not my story - it's theirs. I won't tell it here) and we had done what little we could to help and support them. Now he and Kirk discussed this offer, and ultimately S said to go. In fact, they agreed that (if circumstances allowed) he would join Kirk there himself.

There was one last person Kirk wanted to talk to - his closest friend from the counter-terrorism days. He did call I know, but I think J was out of town. I don't believe he got the call before the decision was made, before Kirk had already left for Turkey. I don't know what he would have said.

Kirk was out of time - C needed him to make his choice quickly. So we decided.

He would go.


Anonymous said...

Can't help but think it's a very different equation for a young, single?, recent MBA than for an experienced guy with a family. Must have been quite a financial opportunity to make it worth the risk. And this must have been before government contractors were in the public eye much.

For Kirk said...

Honestly? There was the potential for financial opportunity of course, but Kirk asked for a salary that was exactly equal to what he was making at his current job. More on that eventually, but I thought I should say at once that the financial end was not the deciding factor.

child2 said...

erm...he said he was going to buy a plane...