Grand Strategy in the War against Terrorism

By Thomas R.Mockaitis; Paul B.Rich | Go to book overview

Bringing it All Back Home: Hollywood Returns to War

SUSAN L.CARRUTHERS

Another and far more transcendant love came to us unbidden on the battlefields, as it does on every battlefield in every war man has ever fought. We discovered in that depressing, hellish place, where death was our constant companion, that we loved each other, we died for each other, and we wept for each other. And in time we came to love each other as brothers. In battle our world shrank to the man on our left and the man on our right and the enemy all around. We held each other's lives in our hands and we learned to share our fears, our hopes, our dreams as readily as we shared what little else good came our way. 1

Out there under the hot sun in their desert fatigues with their floppy camouflage sun hats on they were like a bunch of overgrown kids playing soldier…with real bullets and grenades. It was the sort of thing that made Rangering so cool. It was real soldiering. Hard core, heavy metal. It was way more fun than college. They were on an adventure, Sizemore and the rest of the guys bunked in that hangar. They were in Africa, not behind some desk or cash register or sitting in class staring out the window across a sleepy campus. They did things like jump out of airplanes, fast-rope out of helicopters, rappel down cliffs…. stuff like what they were doing over here, doing good, chasing around an exotic Third World capital after a murderous warlord. 2

'Tell me I'm a good man', an octogenarian veteran beseechingly implores his wife. Stricken, he halts before the grave of an officer who, decades earlier, had rescued his recalcitrant younger self from the thick of battle in 1944 Normandy-dying along with several others in an extraction mission of questionable wisdom. Unconvinced that his subsequent years have vindicated the premature extinction of theirs, the aging former soldier seeks reassurance that he did indeed fulfil the officer's dying exhortation to 'earn it'. In Steven Spielberg's universe, the assuaging of moral ambiguity-the saving of Private Ryan-is wifely work. 3

-167-

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