“On the morning of my forty-second birthday, I got a call from my mother. 'Happy birthday,' she said. 'Remember, your dad was forty-two when he had his first attack.' The men in my family don't tend to grow old. I think about that sometimes, when I see my teenage kids dig through the refrigerator in the kitchen, or hear them talk about summer plans, or even joke about the latest boy to approach one of my daughters at the beach… I wonder about the future whenever there's tightness in my chest when I deal with lawyers and legacy problems from my time with Blackwater...
It makes me think about my life's work. Because when it comes to Blackwater, if I had it all to do over again, I'm not sure I would. At the very least, I'd be more selective in the federal departments I worked for. Otherwise, I might just send a note back to 1998 and tell myself to go start my own manufacturing business. Or do something else entirely in a different part of the world— anything, anyplace. I'm still haunted by an incident that involved my accountant: As he escorted a veteran IRS agent around my farm during yet another tax audit, the officer mentioned how in twenty-five years of handling high-profile tax cases, he had 'never been under so much pressure to get someone as to get Erik Prince.' I'm just not sure what good I gained from the path I chose, or what part of America it is that craves that sort of relentless political persecution.”
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