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In the midst of the carnage, Doc Bradley ran through the chaos, doing what he could….He watched a Marine blunder into a cross fire of machine-gun bursts and slump to the ground. Doc did not hesitate…[he] sprinted through thirty yards of saturating cross fire — mortars and machine guns — to the wounded boy’s side. As bullets whined and pinged around him, Doc found the Marine losing blood at a life-threatening rate. Moving him was out of the question until the flow was stanched. The Japanese gunfire danced all around him, but Doc focused his mind on his training. He tied a plasma bottle to the kid’s rifle and jammed it bayonet-first into the ground. He moved his own body between the boy and the sheets of gunfire. Then, his upper body still erect and fully exposed, he administered first aid.br> Not much is made of John Bradley’s Navy Cross, or the heroic actions that earned it, in Clint Eastwood’s movie. In fact, much more is made of Ira Hayes’ self-destructive behavior and nervous breakdown because it suits modern sensibilities to celebrate Ira’s victimhood than to celebrate John Bradley’s heroism.
His buddies watching him from their shell holes were certain that he would be cut down at any moment. But Doc Bradley stayed where he was until he thought it was safe to move the boy. Then he raised a hand, signaling his comrades not to help, but to stay low. And then my father stood up into the merciless firestorm and pulled the wounded Marine back across thirty yards to safety by himself. His attention did not flicker until the Marine was safely evacuated.
This action — so heroic that two sergeants and Captain Severance came forward to report it — earned him his Navy Cross, an honor he never mentioned to our family. It was one of the bravest things my father ever did, and it happened on one of the most valorous days in the history of a Corps known for valor.
Unlike John Bradley, Rene Gagnon wanted to be a hero, to win the love of his girl by impressing her with his bravery — a common adolescent fantasy. He wanted to get something out of being a hero. And here is how he behaved under fire:p>Rene Gagnon fired his rifle for the first time on March 12. br> /p>
He and a buddy had wandered into a cave, assuming it was empty — a mistake that had cost many Marines their lives. The two boys found themselves facing a lone Japanese soldier with his rifle aimed at them. As he told his son, Rene Jr., many years later, the New Hampshire mill kid had a blinding thought in the split second that followed: “We all have mothers. We’re all human. Why does this have to be?”br> There seems to be no recognition that he had put his own anxieties and scruples above the life of his buddy.
Rene had his own rifle but he hesitated. He hoped, against all reason, that the Japanese would lay down his weapon. Instead, the enemy soldier fired. Rene’s buddy dropped dead. In the next second it would be Rene’s turn. He squeezed the trigger, and the Japanese crumbled. Rene stood in the cave, trembling. This was what the battle had come down to. To his son, he later recalled thinking: “Why did I have to do this? Looking down a barrel into someone’s eyeballs and having to kill him. There’s no glory in it.”
I will leave it to the reader to decide whether there are degrees of valor and whether it is nobler to celebrate these degrees or to ignore them as Eastwood believes.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?