« back to article: What Would Chesty Do?

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Why Don’t You Trade Places With Them?

   But the one statement that has stuck with me for many years is one Chesty made when he reported to a new duty station between WW II and Korea: “Take me to the brig. I want to see the real Marines!” He wanted to see the fighters. 

   I think I know what Chesty would do with the four pissing Marines. He would say, “War is not glorious or nice. If you have never experienced it, you have no idea what unimaginable hell it is. When you kill someone who had just tried to kill you, you are definitely not in the mood to put flowers on his chest. If you still object to what the Marines did, the recruiting stations are open. Go trade places with them. The average age of our troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is barely 22. We could use more mature brains. Remember the brain is not completely filled out until 25.”  

   Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said their actions were “inconsistent with American values.” I think that is a fine, usable summary statement. After “a thorough investigation of every aspect of the filmed event,” as Marine Commandant James Amos has requested, leave the four twisting for a while in the hot, angry breath of civilians who sent them to war, then send them a letter of reprimand and transfer them to a new duty station—Butte, Montana.