When I lived in Playas, it was a company town. In the morning, you would hear dogs barking, kids playing, and someone always had music going that you could hear from two streets away. There would be four wheelers zooming by, kids on bicycles, and the never ending laughter. There were parties and cookouts, horseshoe tournaments, mud races or wind sailing at the lake bed. Playas was fun.

It is the same town today, but it is very different. There is more stress now, people are not as carefree and easygoing as they were back then. 9/11 changed that for all of us. You hardly ever hear someone laughing or kidding around like they used to. Playas is doing some serious business. This training could save lives, your life, my life, lives of people all over the world. The people who now live and work in Playas have one tough job; there is nothing easy about fighting terrorism, thinking about anti-terrorism tactics, car/bus bombs, suicide bombers, or the thousands we watched die on 9/11.

What makes Playas special today? It is the people who work here, the people who come here for training, all the people who know why this town is here and take that seriously. I can't tell you what goes on at Playas, but I can tell you that is is serious-- life-changing serious.

Close your eyes for a minute. Remember when those towers went down and what the world felt like the moments before and the years afterward. How can you fight back against something like that? Playas and the people here fight every day to make sure that you and I can go to bed at night, go to work in the morning, and come home in the afternoon feeling safe.

It is a serious job. Do I miss the "good ol' days?" You bet I do!