The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Little dusty in here this morning.
It isn't done for the media, it is done for those in the hallway, the Generals, and most certainly for those invited to come and eat. I am sure at one time the Generals knew the face of combat, training for it and attending events, but it is good to be reminded on Friday of the cost and the care needed.
That was hard to finish. Something wrong with my eyes…
I had someone ask me once how one deals with all the hard things intrinsic to being a soldier. She mentioned the danger and the horrible "working conditions" at the front of course, and then ruminated on how hard it must be to make yourself accept the idea of killing complete strangers for no other reason than someone told you to.
I let her go on for a few minutes and then pointed out that she'd missed the very hardest part.
Yes, dealing with "permanent emergency camping" in whatever hellhole you find yourself in can be rough. Yes, being surrounded by death, infusing the smell of the air, the taste of the water and food, every tiniest nook of your environment... yes, that's ugly, very ugly, and there's no way to make it pleasant. Yes, killing people at all, for any reason, is a mental/moral/emotional "hump" that has to be climbed over, there's really no way around it, and it's not an easy climb.
But you see, you know to expect those. As a civilian with no plans to be in the military ever, you still know to expect those. You start subconsciously training yourself to be ready for those before you even sign the papers, much less before you see combat. You have a lot of help on the way too, teaching you how to keep such things from burying you alive.
But the hardest one is the one that somehow you never see coming, and the one not being in combat doesn't make you safe from.
You never realize, until you find yourself in that place, how hard it is to stand there at attention, forcing yourself to maintain the steadiness and discipline a fellow soldier deserves from you, has earned from you.... as your best friend goes by in a box with a flag draped over it.
Thank you, sir.
"The media haven't yet told the story."
I notice that line isn't present if you track the links back to the original post of the story. The ironic part is that, the only time that statement might have been true was before it was initially posted at the link below, which looks like media to me.
I would like to add that I'm glad I was alone in the office when I was reading this. It's always a pain to try to explain why you're crying at your desk. I'm thankful that, like most ships in the Navy, we didn't lost anyone in Desert Shield or Desert Storm. If we mentioned Desert Storm Casualties, we were refering to the men whose wives cheated on them while we were deployed.
A few months ago I became a "friend" of the Department of Defense on FaceBook. This is where I first heard this story. There are many more like it as well as many other stories that never make the MSM. If you are on FB, I reccomend it.
Wow! ::sniff:: That's powerful stuff!
Joe Galloway is a good guy. We got long well when we were both at USNews, back when it was an actual magazine.