An American original leaves voluntarily
War is hellish and hateful. But even more hateful is the “chicken-hawk” who cheerleads and champions war while ducking any personal risk of engagement for himself, his blood relatives or his social peers. These are the tough-talking, think-tank commandos in and out of Washington, including the press corps, who love to expropriate the language of the combat they have done everything to personally escape.
Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf silenced the flatterers who tried to lionize him after his successful leadership in the Persian Gulf War: “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
Nobody understands that hard truth better than Sen. Jim Webb, who has chosen to leave the U.S. Senate after serving a single six-year term from Virginia. Long before he would become the first graduate of the Naval Academy to serve as Secretary of the Navy, under President Ronald Reagan, 23-year-old Webb was a Marine company commander in Vietnam combat where he earned the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.
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