A lesson unlearned

I felt that this July 15 letter written by John F. McBride of Seattle, Washington sums things up a lot better than I can.

“The men who served in my infantry company in 1969 – 1970 came from all over the United States, very much as do those who serve in our Congress. They came from all walks of life, from those who had graduated West Point and been commissioned, to Blacks from riot torn neighbors, to men from a still rascist South, to farm boys and college boys and war resisters.

We didn’t necessarily agree, men fought on occasion, there were those who were tireless and those who were plum worn down and worn out. But in the field, together, we were always brothers. We never, ever abandoned each other and we made happen what needed to happen even when it was enormously difficult for us to do it.

Over the fourteen months I spent in our now vanishingly distant war 12 of the men I served with died and 60 or more were wounded. I should know because as the company RTO I called in the wounded and I called in the killed. The dead I can still name. But not all of the wounded.

We’re still friends, most of us. The officers from West Point who we didn’t necessarily agree with then, but love, and the men we fought with and carried to safety and those we didn’t understand. We’ve all had to abandon positions we swore then we never would and had to get over conversations that seemed oh so gawd almighty important at the time.

As one who bent myself to my officers regardless, I find it peculiar that so many Republicans can detest the President to such a degree that they cannot bend themselves to the compromise of doing what is best for their “band of brothers,” their nation. I think those in my company who are Republicans, pushed to it in a conversation, would agree with me on this point. One would think their Senators and Representatives would, too.

Today, Bastille Day, marks the day one of our dead was killed in a tragic friendly fire incident. I think about him every year when this day rolls around and days in between. Unfortunate, isn’t it? In our Congress friendly fire is completely intentional.”

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