Cambridge is half a world away from Iraq and Afghanistan for most Americans, but not for U.S. veterans of those long-running wars. As many as 150 veterans are now students at Harvard, where they have adjusted from combat zones to tidy classrooms, as they study business, government, and law. In a series of interviews, two dozen vets discussed the startling contrasts between past and present. A few shared perspectives from overseas.Oasis GarciaOasis Garcia, M.P.A./M.B.A. (HKS/Wharton) ’12 Captain, U.S. Army, IraqOut of high school, his first service was with the U.S. Marine Corps Band as a trumpet player. Later, as an Army officer, he was an embedded adviser to the Iraqi army and border patrol.“The military opens doors so long as you accept the responsibilities that lie on the other side.”Hagan Scotten, J.D. ’10Captain, U.S. Army, IraqAfter the rigors of training in Korea (“there are no distractions in Korea”), the Long Island native spent time as a platoon leader — “the plum job, in charge of 40 guys with rifles” — and then post-9/11 on the periphery of Afghanistan, where “I wanted to do more.” He spent three tours in Iraq as a Special Forces officer, conducting raids, collecting and analyzing intelligence, advising Iraqi counterterrorism forces, and managing logistics and convoys. The experience gave him pragmatism, a sense that intelligence is diverse, and insight into national security law. “Experience,” he said, “has some virtue.” After graduation, he will clerk for a year in the D.C. Circuit Court and then with Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts.Of combat veterans at Harvard, said Scotten: “We’re happy to be here.”Joe QuinnJoe Quinn, M.P.P. ’10Captain, U.S. Army, IraqA senior at West Point when his brother James Quinn was killed in the 9/11 attacks on Manhattan. Helped start the Sons of Iraq program, an expansion of the “Sunni Awakening” that reduced violence throughout Iraq.“It’s that experience you really can’t duplicate.”Jason Saunders, M.P.A.-ID/M.B.A. ’12Captain, U.S. Army, Afghanistan and IraqAbout a year and a half after graduating from West Point in 2003, he was a rifle platoon leader in Afghanistan. Redeployed to Iraq in July 2006, he was a logistics officer stationed near the Syrian border.Of youth and warfare, said Saunders: “Going to Afghanistan was my first real job.”Pete HegsethPete Hegseth, M.P.P. ’11Captain, U.S. Army, IraqHe is still in the military with a National Guard unit in Massachusetts and is chairman of VetsforFreedom.org and a frequent television commentator. Served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq and did liaison work with local governments.“Vets come into the classroom with their eyes wide open. Vets also say: I’ve seen the best and the worst.”Jared Esselman, M.P.P. ’11Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Iraq and AfghanistanAfter high school in Mooresville, N.C., and one desultory year in college, he worked as a ranch hand in Montana and Wyoming before taking a factory job. After the 9/11 attacks, he joined the Air Force, trained as a loadmaster on a C-17, and by February 2003 was flying missions into Afghanistan. While deployed to Iraq, he flew 300 combat sorties before returning to college and, in the summer of 2008, serving as a White House intern.“They say it’s not the years, it’s the mileage,” said the 29-year-old, who plans to return home and run for mayor. “I’ve done things in my lifetime that most people will never do. I’ve stood on almost every continent. I’ve swum in almost every ocean. I’ve seen things that people will never see or ever want to see.”David TierDavid Tier, M.P.A. ’10Major, U.S. Army, IraqStill on active duty. His first duty station was as a tank platoon commander in Korea, where he spent two and a half years. During the second of his three Iraq tours he was a cavalry troop commander and led tactical raids.Of vets in the classroom: “It’s a great thing for Harvard. One, you have perspective from a proven patriot. It’s very difficult to question someone’s motives or patriotism, having risked a certain level. It’s great for the vets too.”Seth Moulton ’01, M.P.A./M.B.A. ’11Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, IraqDeciding to join the Marines long before the 9/11 attacks, he gave the English Oration at his 2001 Harvard Commencement on the need for national service, and went on to serve four tours in Iraq. He was a rifle platoon commander at the beginning of the war, helped to establish free-speech media outlets in Iraq (including a twice-weekly television show with his translator called “Moulton and Mohammed”), served in a Marine unit that saw intense combat with Shiite insurgents in Najaf, and twice served on Team Phoenix, a small-scale group organized by Gen. David Petraeus to study and counter renegade militias.“One thing I certainly try to do in class is bring a little dose of reality to the discussion about what these wars mean in terms of the actual people on the ground. It’s so easy at a place like Harvard to discuss the grand strategies and the budgets and the politics — and forget that out in Afghanistan today there’s an 18-year-old kid fighting for his life.”Kurt White, J.D./M.B.A. ’11Captain, U.S. Army, IraqHe is a West Point graduate now serving an 18-month stint with the National Guard in Massachusetts. During the first of two Iraq tours, he was an infantry platoon leader starting a week after the fall of Baghdad — and “I still trust my experiences more than what I see in the news.”At Harvard, where there are so few veterans, other students meeting them “really want to know and learn, and ask.”Scott OsterlingScott Osterling, M.P.A./M.B.A. ’10Captain, U.S. Army, IraqHe was inspired to join the military by a high school teacher who was deployed in the first Gulf War. After 18 months in Korea as an infantry officer he did two tours in Iraq as a Green Beret — and today “it’s sometimes hard to be on the sidelines.”One impression from the Nov. 11, 2009 ceremony for Medal of Honor winners at the Memorial Church: “Harvard has a tremendous history of service to the country.”Nathaniel Davis, M.P.A. ’11Captain, U.S. Army, IraqStill on active duty, he said his next posting will be to teach at West Point. During 19 months in Iraq, he worked in an infantry unit trying to reduce sectarian violence — “cleansing” operations by Shiite factions against their Sunni neighbors. Abandoned Sunni houses were stripped of anything valuable, he said, and often only family photos were left. “You would see a family photo. You’d see father, mother, daughter, son, baby. You’d go in the front yard and start digging, and you’d find them a mass grave: father, mother, daughter, son, baby.”At Harvard, “We bring a current, realistic perspective on ongoing conflicts and the capabilities and limitations of Western powers to intervene in those conflicts.” It’s “where strategies meet resources.”Christopher Cannon (soldier on the left)Christopher Cannon, M.P.A. ’11Captain, U.S. Army, Iraq and AfghanistanIn April 2004, he was in Baghdad’s Sadr City, which was ground zero for the Shiite insurgency, when he was caught in an ambush. Cannon was wounded in one calf. “If there’s a good place to get shot, I got shot in that place.” His second combat tour was with a civil affairs team on a PRT (provincial reconstruction team) in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, a unit that was “the eyes and ears of our commander.” He turned 26 in Iraq and 30 in Afghanistan.As for what’s next: “I still want to serve, just not necessarily at the tip of the spear of our foreign policy.”Jordan Brehove, M.P.A./M.B.A. (HKS/Wharton) ’11Captain, U.S. Army, IraqHe is still in the Reserves, where he has served in a drill sergeants’ training company and as an assistant professor of military science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his second tour in Iraq, his convoy vehicle was hit 23 times by IEDs (improvised explosive devices).Of the hard work in school, he said, “It’s a great problem to have.”Thomas RubelThomas Rubel ’13Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, IraqHe joined the service right out of Phillips Exeter Academy, when colleges were recruiting him to play lacrosse. He did two tours in Iraq, starting the first as an 18-year-old lance corporal and ending the second on the day he turned 21.Why he joined: “I just decided I wanted to do something else. Kids my age were fighting overseas.”Jon Gensler, M.P.A./M.B.A. (HKS/Sloan) ’11Captain, U.S. Army, IraqA Russian and German major at West Point, he was assigned to a tank unit that at the start of the Iraq War penetrated nearly to the Iranian border. He helped to train Iraqi police and fought in the Sunni Triangle.“Military veterans have a strong sense of consequences for their actions, which is something we can share in the classroom.”
Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions The Lakers are coming off a disappointing season themselves, winning just 37 games and failing to make the playoffs. For James, it was the first time since 2005 he missed the postseason, fueling criticism of the Lakers’ roster construction last summer and adding sting to the bevy of injuries the team suffered.The connection between James, 34, and Davis has been hotly discussed since September when Davis hired Rich Paul, James’ agent and close friend. James added juice to the subplot when he told ESPN in November it would be “amazing” and “incredible” if he could play with Davis. James raised eyebrows and fanned flames when he selected Davis to his All-Star squad on Feb. 7, the day of the trade deadline when talks had fizzled.The cost of Davis and trying to win next season was trading in the future: Between Ingram, Ball and the No. 4 pick this year, the Lakers surrendered three former or future lottery picks. Ingram and Ball were once considered the nucleus of the Lakers’ future, and team’s previous attempts to pry them away in trade talks (most notably Kawhi Leonard) had fallen flat. Both ended this season with injuries but showed improvement – particularly Ingram, who played his best stretch of basketball after the All-Star break before being sidelined by a blood clot that required surgery. In two seasons with the Lakers, Josh Hart had also cultivated esteem as a rotation player in the lineup, despite struggling with a knee injury for much of this past year.The one member of the team’s so-called “young core” the Lakers retained was Kyle Kuzma, who became a starter in his second season (18.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and vastly outplayed his end-of-the-first-round draft slot when he entered the league in 2017. Kuzma also has the most salary-cap friendly contract of the four players, due to make just under $2 million next season.The Lakers’ most visible competition for Davis was the Boston Celtics. ESPN reported that the Lakers’ longtime East Coast rivals essentially withdrew themselves from the running once it was clear they didn’t want to include forward Jayson Tatum in a deal.The cutthroat Western Conference could be in for a dramatic shakeup this offseason: Golden State, the class of the West for five seasons running, suffered significant injuries to stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson during its six-game loss to Toronto in the Finals. With lengthy recovery timelines and Durant’s pending free agency, the Warriors’ dynasty might be as vulnerable as ever, and a star-laden Lakers team could be well-poised to leap into contention with a strong offseason haul once free agency starts June 30.For the Lakers, the deal could not come at a better time: The franchise has been roiled in drama since the season ended April 9, headlined by Johnson’s dramatic resignation. A tortured coaching search, in which the team eventually selected Frank Vogel, and Johnson’s public accusations of Pelinka’s “backstabbing” have hurt the perception of the Lakers’ stability, which Pelinka and Vogel have vigorously defended.Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe trade has been discussed since January, when Davis publicly announced his desire to be traded from the only pro franchise he’s ever known. While talks fell flat at the February trade deadline, they reheated in the past few weeks as new power brokers took over for the respective teams.It’s one of the biggest trades the Lakers have ever made and one that is certain to define the controversial tenure of General Manager Rob Pelinka, who took over basketball operations in April after team president Magic Johnson resigned. It fulfills the organization’s vision of pairing two All-NBA superstars on the same roster – a vision it has touted since Pelinka entered the team’s front office in 2017.It’s also a bold start to new Pelicans executive David Griffin’s tenure: The unabashed flirtations between Davis and the Lakers touched a nerve for many New Orleans fans, which isn’t likely to quickly heal despite the package the team received back. The Pelicans now hold the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the upcoming draft, though ESPN reported Griffin was already seeking a trade for the Lakers’ pick.Since being drafted first overall in 2012, Davis has largely lived up to the expectations that have rested upon his 6-foot-10 frame. He’s become one of the league’s surest double-double men and a scorer from all levels (25.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg) and his defensive prowess has helped make him a six-time All-Star and the third-place candidate for league MVP last season.There’s one area in which he’s been short: winning. Davis has made the postseason just twice in seven seasons in New Orleans, and he won his first playoff series, a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2018. After seemingly endless drama, wary negotiations and a season that ended in turmoil, the Lakers have pulled off the mega-deal that’s been talked about for months.Though later than they might have liked, the A.D. Era has begun in Los Angeles.The New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to ship off star forward Anthony Davis, a six-time All-Star, to the Lakers for a hefty price: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. A source close to the team confirmed the deal, first reported by ESPN, to the Southern California News Group. The trade cannot be officially completed until July, when teams can begin operating under next season’s salary cap.While the risk is considerable – the Lakers are betting Davis will choose to stay in Los Angeles when his contract expires in 2020 – the reward might just be worth it. In what NBA observers have dubbed as perhaps the most significant trade for a star in his prime since the Lakers acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 45 years ago, getting Davis for the next year alongside LeBron James forms the foundation of what the Lakers hope is a team that can return to championship-level contention after six consecutive seasons out of the playoffs. The Lakers still have ample room this summer to chase free agents to fill out their roster, but the sequence of the trade will affect how much space under the salary cap they’ll have. Davis has a $4 million trade kicker that he can choose to waive. The timing of the deal is also essential: If the Lakers can convince the Pelicans to wait until July 30 to complete the trade, the No. 4 pick will count as salary in the deal, and the Lakers could clear as much as $32.4 million under their salary cap – just enough to sign a third max free agent.The New York Times reported the Lakers were expected to target All-Star guard Kemba Walker in free agency should they clear a max slot. The Lakers themselves have also emphasized that they will be looking for shooting during free agency.
“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested,” Djokovic said in a statement. “My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. “Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from south-eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this.” World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has tested positive for coronavirus. The 33-year-old and his wife Jelena returned tested positive after returning from the Adria Tour, while his children tested negative. The 17-time grand slam singles champion is asymptomatic and will now isolate for 14 days. View this post on Instagram “The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative. Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from South-Eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this. We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”A post shared by Adria Tour (@adriatourofficial) on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:28am PDTMORE: Nick Kyrgios slams ‘boneheaded’ Novak Djokovic-led Adria Tour eventDjokovic was a driving force behind the creation of the Adria Tour, which took place in Serbia and Croatia in front of large crowds and saw players shaking hands despite concerns over social distancing. However, the final between Djokovic and Andrey Rublev was canceled when Grigor Dimitrov tested positive for COVID-19 and Borna Coric later confirmed he too had contracted coronavirus. Viktor Troicki, who played in the tournament in Belgrade, and his wife also tested positive for the virus.The decision to hold the event during the pandemic has been criticized by Tour players including Nick Kyrgios and Dan Evans, while long-term rival and friend Andy Murray described the fall-out as “a lesson for all of us.” Kyrgios was a bit more direct with his anger.🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️ Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE. https://t.co/SUdxfijkbK— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 22, 2020As for Djokovic, he provided some additional thoughts on the tournament.”We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met,” Djokovic said. “Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease in time so we can all resume lives the way they were. I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”