Sunday, August 16, 2009

Effectively Ruthless And Genuinely Caring

If you want to read a good piece on what it means to be a Marine, read this. An excerpt:

Ultimately, because of the business we are in, expected to fight, suffer
and die without complaint, we also cultivate this bond to call on when needed.
At times, it means being ruthlessly hard, as at Balaclava in 1854. When the
"thin red line" of the 93rd Highlanders were all that stood between the Russian
onslaught and the British camp, Sir Colin Campbell commanded the regiment he
loved, "there is no retreat from here, men -- you must die where you stand." At
times, it means having compassion, as on Tulagi Island in the South Pacific in
1942. After an all-night attack, Marine Pfc. Edward "Johnny" Ahrens lay quietly
in his foxhole. He'd been shot twice in the chest, and blood welled slowly from
three deep bayonet wounds. Thirteen dead Japanese soldiers lay nearby; two
others were draped over his legs. Legendarily tough Lewis Walt -- later
assistant commandant of the Marine Corps -- gently gathered the dying man in his
arms. Ahrens whispered, "Captain, they tried to come over me last night, but I
don't think they made it." Choking back tears, Walt replied softly, "They
didn't, Johnny. They didn't."

No comments:

Post a Comment