11/5 MN Reads: "Outside Duluth" by Eric Chandler

Nov 5, 2015

"Our people choose to protect our land. Our country was the first government in the world to create a national park. I’m proud of us. One of my favorite authors, Wallace Stegner, wrote, 'National parks are the best idea we ever had .... they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.'

This same country sends me to war in an F-16. I don't get to pick where I go. Like many warriors, my real-time motivation in combat is to fight for the guy right next to me.  There’s no philosophy. No international politics. I’m fighting to save his life.

My greatest joy is being in the outdoors with my family. When I come home from war, we make time to play outside.  I wake everybody up at the cabin so the kids can stand on the dock and stare open mouthed at the eerie glow of the Northern Lights. I’m blessed.

Our form of government preserves public land for our people. Sure, it’s a mental stretch to go from the Constitution to public land to war to gliding across the snow. But, this is why I fight. We can talk more about it, if you want. You’ll need skis."

~ Eric Chandler, "Outside Duluth"