Two Letters Re: Killing, Dying, and Death

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The article brings topics that ring very true in my mind. Having served years ago but not in combat, I realize how important the trust is of your fellow soldiers and their need to trust you. It can not be stressed more that you will never know for sure of that trust until the “chips are down”, as they say. (Watch “The Pacific” dvd series based on the book The Old Breed. It will give anyone uninitiated a glimpse of the physical and psychological horrors of war.) I have come to peace with myself and God with the fact of dying. I hope, as the writer says, it will not be in vain. He is absolutely right in the fact that it is a topic no one really wants to deal with. Even the initiated are reluctant to speak of it many years later. I hope and pray that when my time is up, I am able to pass in peace and during peace. I do try to have a reality based mind set of hope for the best but plan for the worst. That way, it may work out for me and/or my family. Thanks for the diversity of your and Mr. Rawles’ efforts with the site. – J. in Utah.

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I must agree with the author that very few men are true warriors. Some are fighters, and yet most are near useless in a battle. I had a buddy– a short, barrel chested guy with thick glasses– who worked for years as a dishwasher and later operated a CNC lathe for Emerson Electric and was a Sheriff’s deputy, carrying a 2-way radio in his heavy old carryall. He intercepted a call that a fugitive was fleeing the law on a rural dirt road in a very fast car. Bill radioed his superiors, “Want me to stop him?” They answered, “Yes, do!”Bill had no gun with him, but he pulled his old truck just a bit off the road at right angles, butt facing the road. He soon spotted the fugitive traveling at 70+ miles per hour coming straight for him. Bill waited patiently, his motor ticking over as the speeding fugitive drew near. Then, at the last moment, he gunned his motor and backed into the side of the fleeing car, tearing the rear tire to shreds, bending the rim, and heavily damaging the rear of both vehicles. This drastically slowed the fleeing car and made the capture possible. Bill’s vision wasn’t the best, nor was he a perfect shot with a pistol, but he had a “can do” attitude and little fear for self or his property. Years later, he died on the operating table while undergoing corrective heart surgery. He was a good soldier in any man’s war!

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