I'm Paying a Heavy Debt This Memorial Day

We will talk about energy markets another time. I have something else I need to share with you.

Today, we honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice to allow the rest of us to live the kind of lives we do.

For me, personally, this is a very tough time of the year. And it is all coming back to me this morning.

It's prompted me to think about my time on the front lines of the Cold War and its aftermath, while walking in what these days feel like another guy's shoes.

I was then playing "The Great Game" of geopolitical conflict as a profession; a game with some very high stakes. A game that helped make me who I am.

Thinking about those days brought back the faces of people who helped shape me. I owe them my life. For a few, that debt is a very literal one.

And that, you see, is what makes this time of year so difficult for me. Because this week, May 31, marks a bittersweet anniversary.

It is one of two dates on which I should have died...

The Great Game Charges a Steep Price

On both occasions, somebody else did instead.

But what makes May 31 the more poignant is the victim. He was a fellow player in "The Great Game," a close friend, and I put him there.

It was during a still-classified operation that had gone very sour, compounded by the part of the world we were in. There was little in the way of a support structure to fall back on. I made a mistake that didn't help matters any, and the op started unraveling.

What happened next is something that will stay with me forever. He simply jumped into the line of fire and took a spray of bullets.

Memorial DayHow do you "acknowledge" somebody for having done that? I couldn't later when I met with his widow and their two daughters back home.

Can't do it now.

That I received two of my medals for the affair simply added to the irony and the pain. For his part, the man whose sacrifice let me keep on breathing received a star on a wall in Northern Virginia. It does not even bear his name, because the assignment is still classified.

He gave his life to save mine and even now his name cannot be mentioned.

I have never been able to shake the feeling of living on borrowed time. It is something that will be with me always.

As one of my mentors used to say, "If you live long enough in this business, you end up walking with ghosts."

Nobody told me at the time that some of those ghosts are more personal than others.

But if this life given to me by others has taught anything, it is this. You need to stand for something; you need to make other people's sacrifices - spouses, parents, family, friends, countrymen - worth the effort.

It is the only way each of us can shoulder the legacy, the gift, the responsibility.

Especially these days. Conflict is a major part of what is experienced all around us. In fact, it has been the norm for some time. Peace seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

In Oil & Energy Investor, we can't deal with the bigger issues. Yet I can at least offset how some implications of conflict affect your financial security.

The next six to 12 months will be a major period of volatility for the energy sector. We are again reaching one of those times where decisions will have massive consequences, there will be winners and losers, and life will have changed a bit once it is all over.

I intend to help you stay on the plus side in all of this, as part of the way to honor those who got me through earlier tough times.

Consider it my own version of paying it forward.

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About the Author

Dr. Kent Moors is an internationally recognized expert in oil and natural gas policy, risk assessment, and emerging market economic development. He serves as an advisor to many U.S. governors and foreign governments. Kent details his latest global travels in his free Oil & Energy Investor e-letter. He makes specific investment recommendations in his newsletter, the Energy Advantage. For more active investors, he issues shorter-term trades in his Energy Inner Circle.

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