There's a guy that I know, albeit not closely, through one of the forums in which I belong. I met him in person back in the summer of '09 during one of the group Jeep outings we attended in Colorado. He's one of those real personable, funny, and all-around-good-guy types. One of those people that you wish you, and everyone else, could be.
I don't know much about him other than he seems to be an extreme outdoor guy (hiking/climbing/mountain biking), and that he's in the Paramedic/EMT type field somewhere in the Four-Corners area of the States.
The Jeep gang has another outing coming up at the end of May this year (Pastafari in Moab, UT), in which the Boy and I plan to attend... and this fella was also to be in attendance.
Until just recently.
He announced to the group that he accepted a job that would take him to the Middle East for a year. Although he's not military, he has a significant amount of medical training and background. He didn't publicly say what it was he'd be doing while there (not sure if this is something deemed 'classified')... only that the salary would be significant and that he would probably be putting his life in danger.
Of course, this has me bummed for a couple of reasons: (1) We're going to miss out on spending more time with him in Moab this summer - he knows the terrain well, and his company is always more than welcome. (2) We worry for his safety - not quite knowing what he's getting into. I hope we get to see him again.
I was told tonight of another friend I know that got the same kind of offer... to go to somewhere into the Middle East, in a war-riddled area, because of his trade... and get "paid well" for his time.
Which leads me to this thought: What is the value of your life?
Yeah, I realize that money talks... screams... especially in these economic times. But how do you weigh the value of your life versus a seemingly large sum of money? What happens to your family? Is the chance of not returning home alive worth... say $125,000?
Something else to ponder...