Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Queen Of Battle

Some of you may recognize this appellation, it refers to the Infantry. The infantry takes and holds ground, many other pieces of the war machine are more glamorous, but short of all out nuclear destruction, those pieces are the servants of the infantry. It may seem odd to call the Navy servant to the Infantry, but what they do serves the interests of the Infantry. Dirt is where people live and governments hold sway and dirt is what the Infantry is all about.

On Thursday at Fort Benning, GA 2-19 Alpha Co turned blue and Friday officially became Infantrymen. Aged 18 to 41 they spent 14 weeks being turned from ordinary men into "The Queen of Battle." My son, Nick, was one of them. I am proud of him.


Whatever one may think about the mess in Iraq, these are very fine young men. They have given up more than just the last 14 weeks. Their individuality is given over to needs of a unit, their future is in the hands of others with ends of their own. The Battalion's own history explains the expectations they are held to, they are known as The Rock of Chickamagua, earned by holding as the Union forces retreated and suffered 75% casualties finally fighting with fixed bayonets, ammunition exhausted. They train under that flag and its streamers denoting 85 battles and its symbolism is deeply impressed on them.

I sincerely wish that they never have to put their skills into actual use, I am not hopeful. These are precious resources to be used carefully and wisely.

6 comments:

Pete Abel said...

Chuck,

A very touching post. As I said at CS, we wish your son the very best and I hope you will keep us posted on developments relative to him and his unit, both here and at CS.

He is in our prayers.

KISS said...

My Grandson graduated from Ft. Benning, also. Than onto Ft Lewis and than onto 29 palms or some such place. There it was discovered he has epilepsy and was told he could not do combat. Back to Ft. Lewis and than onto Mosul, Iraq and manned a 50 caliber machine gun. One year later back to Ft Lewis and was medically discharged without disability, he is now fighting with VA as to his disability benefits and medical, a real mess. He's head-strong and never listens to me...So far everything I told him has come true. Oh Well, I wish your son the best and my advice is listen to an old sergeant.

Anonymous said...

"These are precious resources to be used carefully and wisely."

How true it is -- and how terrible it is to see a worthless draft dodger like Smirky squander this precious resource in a war that was needless and launched on the basis of lies.

Best of luck to your son and all his comrades in Alpha Co.

Chuck Butcher said...

Thanks all.

Steve Culley said...

As an former marine rifle man in Viet Nam, 40 years ago I have a perspective on young men signing up for the infrantry. They are the best we have but they are young and inexperienced. I have a nephew at Fort Bragg, special forces, going to train for Halo stuff and all that. Don't mind having a brother in arms but will do all I can to make sure he doesn't get deployed into an unwinnable situation. I believe in the Powell Doctrine, don't get in but if you must use overwhelming force. Don't play nice, control the situation. That's what pisses me off about Iraq. Saddam was a scum bag and his passing was good for the world. But following a non combat technocrat such as Rumsfield who simply didn't understand that wars end when the infrantry kills the enemy off to the point that they no longer want to fight. It's always a young man, and now women, who are the spear points. Then society later catches on they paid a price of drastically changed lives. Like the previous poster's son is doing they have another fight after coming home. This is bullshit. The VA now has over 400,000 claims to be adjudicated while combat vets live on the street. My time has passed but the nephew's is still to come. I have 3 grand sons. My sons weren't in the military. I told them they might have to fight for their country but the way it is going they wouldn't have to leave the U.S. to do it. We send young men out the front door to fight them over there while leaving the back door borders wide open because some people make money off the invasion.
MY own state of Oregon decided that we should make almost everyone live in a city just a few years after I got back from Viet Nam. A fundamental right of an independent life taken away by those who didn't fight.
I ramble, the point is that while these boys do actual combat there is politcal combat very day. We need to make sure they come back to the country they thought they were fighting for. The constitution needs protectors while they are protecting. If they can face a bullet we can face a little discord now and then.

bluecolnago said...

God bless the Infantry....