Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Conscientious Objector buried with full military honors....

Desmond Doss died Sunday in Piedmont Albama at the age of 87. Mr. Doss was a conscientious objector, the sort of person who usually was derided as a coward during the WWII era in which he served. He stuck to his convictions though, and refused to carry a weapon, and refused to take part in killing. Those were his convictions prior to his entrance into the military, and he maintained those standards during the war. You may ask, "What is the difference between this guy and anybody else who objects to taking part in violence?" The point is, Mr. Doss was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for wartime service during WWII. This excerpt from a CNN Story encapsulates the sort of man that he was.

Medal of Honor Society records show he was among 3,442 recipients of
the nation's highest military honor.
While under fire on the island of
Okinawa, Doss carried 75 wounded soldiers to the edge of a 400-foot cliff and
lowered them to safety, according to his citation.
During a later attack, he
was seriously wounded in the legs by a grenade. According to the citation, as he
was being carried to safety, he saw a more critically injured man and crawled
off his stretcher, directing the medics to help the other man.

I have no quarrel with people who do not want to serve. As we don't have a draft, this should not be an issue in this day and time. I tend to not throw around the "draft-dodger" invective for people who did not want to fight, but were drafted. I have a problem with the sort of person who serves for years in the military, and suddenly the first time they are threatened with deployment, suddenly they have a moral awakening which tells them. "War is wrong." If you raise your hand and volunteer to join the Armed Forces, you are stating that you are willing to give up the rights and priveleges that the average American enjoys, so that you may be an instrument in which the President and Congress can use you to further the military and political aims of this country. That is the bottom line. Desmond Doss was a hero, because though he didn't want to kill anyone, he still upheld his service obligation. The man was a hero in the most true sense.

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