This morning I have watched two videos.
One was a tribute by a Marine General. He was discussing two young Marines that stood their ground and manned their post as a truck bomb rolled toward them. They fired on the truck until it exploded, preventing it from entering the compound. In losing their lives they save the 150 others asleep in the barracks. These men had 6 seconds from the time the truck entered the alley leading t0 the gate to make a decision. Their Iraqi counterparts, knowing what was going to happen, fired on the vehicle and then ran for their lives. The General, in attempting to gather the information he needed to submit a report interviewed those Iraqi police officers. This is an excerpt from his report regarding those interviews.
I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion.
All survived. Many were injured … some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”
What he didn’t know until then, he said, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.”
“No sane man.”
“They saved us all.”
No sane man….
The other video I watched was of two young men conducting an experiment to see what would happen if one of them appeared to be bullying and assaulting the other in public places. The vast majority of the people who witnessed the assault simply gathered their things and left. Here is that video:
This got me contemplating what the difference is between these two groups of people.
Is it the environment? Are the reactions different because one happened in a war zone and the other on a campus?
Is it the training and mindset that the Marine Corps instills in a young person, versus that instilled by a college?
Or is it simply that brave, courageous young men and women gravitate toward the Marine Corps (and other services), while the rest of us are generally wusses?
I shall have to contemplate this more. If you have thoughts on the matter, comments are welcome.