Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Brotherhood

My friend ALa has a great blog. She always finds the most interesting things to discuss. Recently she put up a post about the "Don't ask-Don't tell" policy on gays in the military. Many of her military readers put up comments which were extremely insightful. The more I read what they have to say, the more I understand the psyche of our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"See, my world of the Marine grunt was a world of raging hormones, machismo and the undeniable confidence you were giving in knowing the fact that you and your buddies could inflict a ferocious amount of vicious bodily harm upon your enemy...People are tight. And when I mean tight, I mean 'they know more about me than any of my wives or girlfriends or moms or dads or ANYONE ever will' tight. I mean, 'willing to lay down my life for him and him willing to do the same for me', tight. I can't even put it into words to do it justice about the bonds that are formed there. It's about trust. You trust that they will be there for you when you need it most, and you will be there for them when they need it most and together, you all can get through any shit thrown your way. Any."

"I trusted them with my life. Believe me, in a shipboard environment, it doesn't take much to end up as a red splash on the deck. Trust is not a cheap commodity."

"I want them {my Soldiers}(excuse me ladies) cock strong and ready to take on any task to defend the nation's right to demand equality. We preserve democracy, we don't practice it...
This...is the military and it has a purpose, remember its purpose of fighting and winning the nation's wars."

Even though this post was centered on the role of gays in the military, I found myself learning more about the Brotherhood of our military. You always hear them say things like "No one left behind" and "Semper Fi", or "Got your 6", but until you hear it from the heart and soul of people you "know" (even if just through the internet, I feel like I know a bit about these guys), I guess it just didn't seem real.

Today ALa posted a letter that makes it all VERY real. Too real. God bless your soul, Cpl. Michael B. Lindemuth. Semper Fi....


  • The bond of family is strong, but not one in which you have made the choice. In the dangerous avocations, the bond is made by a conscious decision, and becomes stronger with time and pressure.

    Think of a piece of coal. It is soft, and you can rub pieces off with your fingertips. Put that same piece of coal under pressures you can only imagine and the individual components fuse and it is no longer coal, but diamond.

    The external pressures on us are obvious--the internal ones less so. Most immediate is the mutual dependence for continued life. There is nothing comparable in normal family life, but it occurs in families faced with pressure due to extreme peril. In the military, extreme peril becomes the daily norm...

    Winston Churchill said, "Nothing in life is so exhilerating as to be shot at without result." In our world, we all share the exhileration when the incoming is without result; when it has results, the diamond is lessened. It does not become softer, nor broken, nor chipped--just lessened...

    Imagine Unity losing part of itself and still remaining Unity.

    By Anonymous cw4billt, at 5:11 PM  

  • Bill - I can see the evidence of the bond, and yet not the bond itself. It's apparent in the way you treat one another - yet it's a secret code I can only imagine. Thanks for helping me to visualize it better.

    By Blogger Barb, at 9:18 PM  

  • AFSis, I also meant to say "Nice Post! Well done :-)"

    By Blogger Barb, at 9:24 PM  

  • It's not a secret code, Barb, just a mutual respect and recognition. It's no more mysterious to us than the bond between you and the Hubster is to you...*grin*

    By Anonymous cw4billt, at 11:56 PM  

  • Thanks Barb! Reading that letter has affected me in ways I never thought possible. I know who wrote it (wants to remain anonymous), and it just amazes me that a hard-ass Marine could write something so touching. Sgt. B., John and Bill do the same thing to me. Tough as nails- no better friend; no worse enemy. Thank GOD they're our friends!

    By Blogger AFSister, at 10:25 AM  

  • Bill- Great comments.

    "The bond of family is strong, but not one in which you have made the choice."

    A very profound statement. Family will always be family- no matter what. But your other "family"- your circle of friends, is special because they were chosen. Like being an adopted child. There's a poem about being adopted, and it says something like "you're my special child because I got to pick you out amongst all the children in the world- i chose you". And when you take that to the next level- military family, who literally hold your life in their hands every day- I can see how that choice becomes more vital.

    The Churchill quote is awesome too- I can relate in a way. Maybe that's part of the reason I love Red Cross. Reminds me of how lucky I am every time I go out on a disaster scene. Exhilarating, yet happy I'm just the observer/rescuer and not the victim.

    Thanks cuddly-wuddly-tribble-with-big-feet!

    By Blogger AFSister, at 10:33 AM  

  • *cuddly-wuddly-tribble-with-big-feet* ?!?!?

    [*furious beet-red blushing*] Ummm--Ma'am, you haven't morphed into Cricket, by any chance, have you, ma'am?

    By Anonymous cw4billt, at 12:18 PM  

  • Waitaminit ... I thought John was the Big-tribble-with-legs?!

    Bill doesn't sport facial fur anymore, he prolly doesn't qualify as a tribble ;-)

    By Blogger Barb, at 1:11 PM  

  • Oooop--that reminds me--I need a haircut.

    By Anonymous cw4billt, at 7:00 AM  

  • Well, Bill *is* cuddly-wuddly, according to Cricket, kind of like a tribble, and he does have legs...

    By Blogger AFSister, at 9:06 AM  

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