Why I love my country

There's a lot wrong with our country, and what's wrong with our country is wrong in a kind of sticky, boiled-down, ultra-intensified way in the military. But there is also much - very much - that makes my heart swell with pride and admiration and my eyes run with tears.

From Morning Edition, an interview by Renee Montagne with Wade Goodwyn, this is one of those things:

Goodwyn: "Although you might think that an Army post is full of soldiers with loaded weapons, that is not the case. If a soldier is not on a training exercise, they're not armed unless they're M.P.'s. And as you might expect, the base's reaction was immediate.

"Sirens went off, a woman's voice began warning over loudspeakers that this was an emergency and it was not a drill, that everyone should take cover. Fort Hood was locked down and the area surrounding the massacre sealed off - and those buildings remained sealed, although the base reopened last night."

Montagne: "And I've also heard, Wade, that the other soldiers in the room, after the chaos and the initial shooting really jumped in and helped the wounded and the fallen."

Goodwyn: "Yes. There were reports that the soldiers came rushing to the fallen, tearing at their uniforms, taking them off and tearing them into strips, and bandaging the wounded. The military police responded very quickly. Without the speed of the first responders and the willingness of the soldiers and the expertise of the soldiers in treating the wounded, I think it could have been a lot worse."

These soldiers, rushing to the aid of the fallen -- it doesn't matter to me if they were the medical personnel that the building was full of or if they were soldier buddies getting ready to deploy or whatever else. It's the immediate sense of "us" and the response of "we" that makes me swell with pride in our troops. Whenever they can see what to do, they do it. They didn't wait for orders on this one.

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