Mark Plaster 90x90This past Memorial Day weekend I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I got to march through Washington, before a crowd of more than 300,000, with my son, LCDR Graham Plaster (USNA ’02), and his US Navy Reserve unit. For us, it was a poignant reminder of when he and I served in Iraq at the same time in 2003.

Mark Plaster 90x90You might have noticed that there is a new headshot accompanying my column this month. Times change – I’ve swapped the Navy cap for a suit a some gray hairs – while some things stay the same. I’m still working the night shift and my wife still rolls her eyes at me at least twice a day.

mark-plasterEveryone agrees that we need to lower the cost of healthcare. After all it represents upwards of 17% of GDP with some sectors still rising. But that’s about where the agreement ends. Immediately we begin to fight over what is making costs rise and what to do about it.

mark-plasterAs I walked into the room and gave a tired smile and introduction, I saw the mother of the small baby girl start to relax. “Yes, I believe you are right. She probably has croup,” I said after listening to the mother’s history while watching, then listening to the child breathe.

mark-plaster“I’m sorry but the image of a naked baby flying around shooting an arrow into the heart of someone just doesn’t really make me want to fall in love,” I said. It was Valentine’s Day and we had just been seated at Cafe’ Normandie, our favorite French restaurant.

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