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I'm Just Sayin': Colonel Jessup was right

I'm Just Sayin' - DuWayne Paul

Remember the Movie A Few Good Men? There is a memorable line in that movie from Colonel Jessup played by Jack Nicholson. He was addressing a JAG attorney played by Tom Cruise. He was vilifying the attorney for expecting the “entitlement” of military protection and at the same time criticizing the colonel for the manner in which it was provided. Colonel Jessup said, “You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.” The point he was trying to make is that he was providing protection in the manner he was trained and politics should not enter into it. Recently, Colonel Jessup came to mind.

A couple weeks ago, I watched the movie Lone Survivor. It is a true story about a team of Navy SEALS that went into the mountains of Afghanistan in June of 2005. Their mission was to take out a murderous Taliban leader. The mission goes horribly wrong when their position was compromised by some local goat herders. The ensuing fire fight with the Taliban and quest for survival made it a compelling story to watch. The film is well done and is factually based on the book Lone Survivor by Marcus Latrell, who was the actual “lone survivor.” I am now reading the book by Mr. Latrell and it is a fascinating read about the life, training and combat superiority of a Navy SEAL.

There have been very few good fact-based books or movies about military warfare. Most of the ones that have been popular with the public have been historical fiction and only relate to the truth in regards to when and where it may have taken place. The good ones are fact-based and well told. Movies like Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers, and Lone Survivor tell of the true horror and human sacrifice of military combat and war. These movies portray men and women in the military who know what they are signing up for and willing to sacrifice it all for what they believe to be right.

When reading about or watching well done movies that tell military stories, it amazes me to think of the sacrifice made on our behalf by our military. They go to war and engage in battle by following orders. Not by what is politically correct or what they think they should be doing at any one time. They use their training and, most of the time, overcome the enemy.

Going against our military is a very foolish endeavor. They have the best weaponry, equipment and training in the world. I know, I have witnessed it by working on projects with clients who build vehicles, ships and weaponry for the military. I have personally experienced the things they are working on and developing. The public doesn’t see these things and only may hear about them when they are deployed. But, believe me, any military force who thinks they can win against the Americans in a “pure fight” is highly delusional. Ah, but there comes the rub!

Too many times our military is not allowed to engage in a pure fight. Presidents, Congress, the media, and politics muddy the fight and force our military to follow rules that others do not – and they still win! Going to war is the toughest decision a government has to make. It should be done with a great deal of justification and responsibility. But, if we do go, then we should be in to win it. Colonel Jessup was just saying the same thing in his own way.

Hooyah! Semper fi, Marcus Latrell. We need you on that wall. I’m just sayin’.

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DuWayne Paul of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist for the Echo Press.