We’re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there’s still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function. Without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it.
Men, it’s been a long war, it’s been a tough war. You’ve fought bravely, proudly for your country. You’re a special group. You’ve found in one another a bond that exists only in combat, among brothers. You’ve shared foxholes, held each other in dire moments. You’ve seen death and suffered together. I’m proud to have served with each and every one of you. You all deserve long and happy lives in peace.[translating a German general’s speech]
In war, soldiers sometimes die in the fever pitch of a fire fight, or by artillery when they’re huddled in a foxhole. Bill Kiehn, a Toccoa man, was killed because he was carrying a sack of potatoes from one building into another.
How could anyone ever know of the price paid by soldiers in terror, agony and bloodshed if they’d never been to places like Normandy, Bastogne or Haguenau?
Fear is poison in combat. Something we all felt but you just didn’t show it. You can’t. It’s destructive, and it’s contagious.