“McChrystal’s defenders at the Pentagon were making the case Tuesday that the president and his men—(the McChrystal snipers spared Hillary)—must put aside their hurt feelings about being painted as weak sisters. Obama should not fire the serially insubordinate general, they reasoned, because that would undermine the mission in Afghanistan, and if that happens, then Obama would be further weakened.
So the commander in chief can be bad-mouthed as weak by the military but then he can’t punish the military because that would make him weak? It’s the same sort of pass-the-Advil vicious circle reasoning the military always uses.”
“Have you ever stopped to ponder the amount of blood spilt, the volume of tears shed, the degree of pain and anguish endured, the number of noble men and women lost in battle so that we as individuals might have a say in governing our country? Honor the lives sacrificed for your freedoms. Vote.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway
“Do me a favor, okay? Tell my parents that I fought well today. And tell them that I… that I… that I fought hard.”
Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War
“What you don’t know going in is that when you come out, you will be scarred for life. Whether you were in for a week, a month, or a year—even if you come home without a scratch—you are never, ever going to be the same.
When I went in, I was eighteen. I thought it was all glory and you win lots of medals. You think you’re going to be the guy. Then you find out the cost is very great. Especially when you don’t see the kids you were with when you went in. Living with it can be hell. It’s like the devil presides in you. I knew what I sighed up for, yes, and I would do it again. But the reality of war—words can’t begin to describe it.”
“The one ring road around the airfield is paved, but heavily rutted and potholed. Every few days a street-sweeper makes its way around, polishing the rutted surface with brushes and water.”
Glenn Dean, Soldier / Geek: An Army Science Advisor’s Journal of the War in Afghanistan