Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When two Marines ran away

By Donald Sensing

Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Cpl, Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, in the last six seconds of their lives:

The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. 
They ran away not from danger but from dishonor.
They determined at the hazard of their lives to be honorable in their young adulthood, to make sure of their duty, and to leave everything else for later, if later ever came. They gave over to hope their chance of lifelong happiness and the uncertainty of final success, and in mortal danger they relied only upon themselves, their buddies and the Corps itself. They chose to risk death young as free men rather than live long as conquered ones. And when fearful lethality loomed they resolved to resist and suffer, rather than flee to save their lives; they ran away not from danger but from dishonor. On the battlefield they stood steadfast, and in an instant, at the height of their resolve, they passed away from this life but not from our lives or the destinies of generations yet to come.
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