Monday, November 22, 2010

Bunk Mates

Martin Sutovec (Slovakia)

Because I could not stop for Death

He kindly stopped for me

--Emily Dickenson

Death is always the same,
but each man die
s in his own way
--Carson McCullers

--I'll give you nothing more to eat.

--Then we'll die.

--I'll give you just enough to keep you from dying.

You'll be hungry all the time.

--Then we won't die

, Samuel Beckett

In a rather non-cohesive statement on unit cohesion and why the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy against openly gay service should remain intact, General James Amos -- new commandant of the U.S. Marine Crops said,

"There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women — and when you talk of infantry, we're talking our young men — laying out, sleeping alongside of one another and
sharing death, fear and loss of brothers," he said. "I don't know what the effect of that will be on cohesion. I mean, that's what we're looking at. It's unit cohesion, it's combat effectiveness" (Marines' Leader: Keep Policy on Gays in Military.)

In Ranger's experience, death is never a shared experience; one is either dead or not, and no man can die your death for you. Everyone witnesses death as an individual, and one's confrontation with death does not change based upon one's sexual affiliation.
Homosexual soldiers die and can witness death, too.

Pity the General does not abide by his word when he states his concerns:
"This is not a social thing. This is combat effectiveness. That’s what the country pays its Marines to do."

If Gen. Amos was worried about Marines' combat effectiveness, he might remember Staff Sergeant Eric Fidelis Alva, the first Marine seriously wounded in the Iraq occupation; SSG Alva is gay.

Alva lost a leg to an IED. When asked by interviewer Paula Zahn if he had ever been attracted to a soldier in the field, Alva said, "I never took my personal life to work." Exactly, as it should be for hetero Marines and soldiers, too.

Alva has also said, "I come from a family of servicemen. My dad, Fidelis, is a Vietnam vet. My grandfather, also named Fidelis, was a World War II and Korean War veteran. I was named after them. My middle name is Fidelis. Fidelis means faithful."

Faithful. It is the least the Commandant can be to his fellow Marines.

Semper Fi.

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