Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Honorable man

Sgt Salvatore Guinta is that anomaly, at least in recent years: a living recipient of the Medal of Honor. President Obama will hang the Medal around Sgt Guinta's neck this afternoon in the East Wing of the White House. I would give a lot to know what's going through the minds of each man at that moment! What does the soldier think when he stands face to face with the commander in chief? What does the politician think when he stands face to face with a hero--and not just any hero, but one who nearly gave his life to carry out the presidential strategy?

Sgt Guinta's difficult night is brilliantly related (though at second hand) in Sebastian Junger's War, in my estimation one of the best books ever written about combat.  If you haven't read it, you should. It's The Iliad, except that the heroes are the enlisted men. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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