The alumni/student networking schmooze fest was endless fun. If you haven’t gone to one of these before, you really ought to. Unfortunately, there were so many alumni speakers that each of us only got a chance at a brief introduction. So, my speech went ungiven, although I did get to pass it around a bit. For those that care, it is below.

Lindsay Morehouse, a graduate of Williams, died 4 years ago, slaughtered along with 3000 others by Islamofascists. Those fanatics died that day, but many who aided, supported and cheered for them did not. There are thousands, perhaps millions, of people around the world who, if it were within their power, would joyously blow up this very building, killing us all. They seek, not just the removal of US forces from Iraq and Afgahnistan, but the end of Western civilization — the rule of law, freedom of conscience, private property, limitted government — as we know it.

But what does this have to do with you, young and alive, the very cream of the American meritocracy? Decades from now, this war might or might not be over, but your children will turn to you and ask: What did you do in the war, Daddy?

What will your answer be? There is no shame in answering: Nothing. No loss of face in manning the home front, in praising the warriors who lay down their lives so that my daughters can sleep safely in their beds tonight.

But is that all that you aspire to? I suspect that, for most of the people in this room, it is. Warriors are few and far between. But there are a handful here who might aspire to such a calling, who might have the mix of natural athleticism, physical courage and mental toughness that allows a man to be a leader on the battlefield. If you think that you might have what it takes, you should talk with me.

People sometimes ask if I regret the time I spent in the Marine Corps. I was older than my peers in graduate school, behind my competitors in the world of finance. Yet, outside of chasing, catching and marrying my wife, joining the Marine Corps was the best decision I ever made. I can be a father, a teacher, a writer, a quant when I’m 40. The only chance I had of being a warrior was when I was 22. Don’t miss your chance.

I had expected to talk with younger Ephs interested in the world of finance, but was instead pleasantly surprised to spend most of the time talking about the Marine Corps. Special regards to Candice and Charles for listening so politely to my blather. The more Ephs that become Marines, the better for all of us.

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