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Called To Serve

Wednesday, February 07, 2007



Sean Barrett has seen a lot in his four years at Harvard. He’s consistently been among the top Crimson finishers at various regional meets since his freshman year. He’s seen coaches come and go. He’s competed with and against formidable tracksters across New England and beyond. Now he’s getting ready to embark on a journey that will show him more about himself and his world than he could ever imagine. Barrett has joined the U.S. Marine Corps and has committed, initially, to serving four years.

It’s a decision that seems almost incongruous for a bright athlete from the Ivy League. Barrett, the second of five children from San Diego, Calif., feels strongly that he’s made the right decision.

“I think this is my generation’s greatest calling,” said Barrett. “Fighting for the freedom of others is a uniquely American value. Protecting my family, my country, our values and way of life is of the utmost importance to me.”

Neither of Barrett’s parents is involved with the military. His older brother, a law student at the University of San Diego has committed to serving in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (or JAG) upon his graduation. Barrett’s younger sister, a student at Boston College, is enrolled with the Army ROTC program there. For Barrett, the War on Terror has posed a moral imperative.

“This isn’t something that’s going away,” said Barrett. “We have to win.”

To read the complete story, penned by Harvard's Andrea Chaknis, please click here.