Back in 1999 after 10 months of working for the small courier company Priority 1 with the help of a friend at www.singlespeeds.com I broke off on "my own" to start Ultimate Courier. My exodus left a vacancy at P1 that was filled by Dave Brophy who's last name rhymes with trophy and skiddaladophy. Dave was a reliable addition to the uptown courier scene, a consummate professional and lover of the two and one wheeled machines. Shortly there after he became certified to be a city firefighter which he managed to do full time and maintain a full time part time schedule on the bike. Over the next 5 years or so I would be riding somewhere out in the world when once in a while a fire truck would pass with the horn blaring because Dave told the driver to do so. From 2005 till just a few weeks ago I had not seen him once, then all of a sudden he was back on his fixy uptown with a bag carrying tags for THE Q, formally Citysprint, prior to that A-courier and before that City bike. I asked him if he had left the state because I had not seen him in a few years and he told me that he left the country for the middle east. As it turns out Dave took a contract job as a firefighter working for Wackenhut(the one actually in contract with the USA) in Baghdad Iraq. In 05 while on the puter he found a job that he was qualified for, applied and within a few weeks was contacted by an Army Colonel who asked him if he could be ready to leave in a few weeks. I will not discuss his salary but as you can imagine the first year was well worth it financially for him, so much so he gave up his Fire Department job here and did another year tour after his first was over. He said that he worked 16 hours a day, pretty much 7 days a week in a very hot and environment. Upon his return looking for something fun to do he is back on the bike, let's give Dave a big welcome back. I like meeting the folks that come to work up here with us no matter what company they are with for there is not really competition in what I do. It is even better when one that is worthy goes away and then comes back.
Interesting side note. Late last year I posted http://whereonearthisbill.blogspot.com/2007/10/c-span-report.html about the non fatal blowing up of US General Dorko in the field in Iraq. The most interesting story coming out of that IED attack was that the General was not with military personnel, he was being protected by contracted security form Black Water and Triple Canopy. At that time I had published that NPR and the NY Times reported that the ratio in the War on Terror was 1 civilian contractor to 1 military person. I could not figure that out completely until Dave came back. The night he did I got on the omnipotent Internet and found 77,000 contractor jobs open ranging from mercenaries, to cooks, to firefighters, to medical, to truck drivers, to supply, to logistics...the list goes on. I guess we are out of regular troops(who are less expensive) so we as a nation must sit back, throw money at the problem and act like nothing is really bizarre about the cosmic events of the now. THE RATIO OF MILITARY TO CIVILIAN IS 1 to1.