PAW first heard about Alex Wilson ’03 early in the summer of 2007, shortly after he was seriously injured in the war in Iraq. At the time, little was known about his injury or prognosis. We later learned that a roadside bomb had taken part of his leg.
As his friends built careers, Wilson had a more daunting challenge: learning to walk, then run, then create a life that didn’t quite fit his original plan. Two years later, it appears he has succeeded on all counts, as PAW contributor E.B. Boyd ’89 demonstrates in an article that begins on page 16.
Each year, Princeton sends a small number of new graduates to the military. Twelve members of the Class of 2009 — 1.1 percent of the class — joined, according to a survey by Career Services. More than two dozen ROTC alumni have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Other graduates have enlisted.
One of those was Graham E. Phillips ’05, the class salutatorian, who wrote about his decision to join the Army in PAW. We checked back with him in September, almost a year after he returned from Iraq. He plans to attend law school under the G.I. Bill.
Though Phillips was unhappy with some aspects of the Army, he says strong friendships with other soldiers made up for them. He continues: “My time in the Army was most satisfying in a very personal, internal way: For the rest of my life I get to know that I really did give it my all, that I literally put my life on the line for my country, that I faced such extreme challenges and came out stronger than before. My time in the Army was not always fun, but it has allowed me to put many things in their proper perspective and has removed the possibility that 40 years from now I’ll sit and think, “If only I had ...”
Marilyn H. Marks *86