While I won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving until tomorrow (Saturday), I made my traditional phonecalls home last night. Most of my family had questions along the lines of “when are you coming to see us?”

Thanks to cheaper calling (and as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve become quite happy with Czech Telecom’s XCall, where you dial 970 00 and then the number), the calls aren’t anywhere near as compressed.

“Well, I gotta go, this is gonna cost you a fortune,” is a phrase that is thankfully fading into the past, and it means that I can catch up in greater detail on everybody’s goings-on.

The big news – for me at least – was finding out my cousin’s National Guard unit has been called up for duty in Iraq.

My cousin decided to join the Guard because he wanted to study nursing, and Guard service was a good way of paying for the education.

When he found out his unit was called up, he said the risk of being put in harm’s way was something he knew about, and that he is glad to volunteer. While he’s not exactly looking forward to combat, he is proud to do his part.

A friend with experience in venture capital uses the term “skin in the game” for when a person has a vested interest in something. For me, the Iraq war has been a cause for concern, but I’ve never been able to make a personal connection to what was going on.

Now I’ve got skin in the game.

Come home safe, Rusty. Do us proud.

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