I was raised by an army colonel – he retired as Colonel of his regiment – the Victoria Rifles – after the Second War. He enlisted and went to officer school in 1938, was rescued at Dunkirk, landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. His company, C Company – went further into enemy territory than any other company that day. He was put in charge of a Nazi work camp, and that changed him forever.
He didn’t feel pain. When we’d ask, he said it was because he’d seen his friends die in real screaming agony and anything he had was as nothing.
He spent the interim before the landing training young men to go into battle. Farm boys and clerks and mechanics. Eighteen-year-old kids.
That’s who raised me. We need those men acknowledged in our culture. We’ve spent 40 years disavowing their strength and honor, upon which every single one of us rely. The problems facing us need men of action, who will do whatever it takes. We need to stitch them back into the culture.