Part 2 (Please see Light Shines on My Mutiny Quash for Part 1 )
I had never felt so proud of anything — ever — as I was of their unselfish act of rebellion. For two hours, they put themselves on the line. No, they didn’t expose themselves to a firefight. (That would come later). But, they were willing to face military sanctions, Article 15s and possibly a court-martial for someone they believed truly looked out for their welfare.
I ended up betraying their trust. I tried to convince them to end their hold-out, to give up a fight they could not win. I could not agree with their arguments without showing a contempt and total disrespect for a superior officer, the battalion commander, who would be “passed over,” not promoted because of a low “body count.” He ended up relieving two out of the three young lieutenants in my company. The Viet Cong had shot and killed the third remaining junior officer.
I lied to this one young man I had “cross-trained” as a medic and a rifleman. He would fill in should we be unable to get to the regular medic, assigned to the another squad. I remember speaking to him as if it was yesterday. He was from Brooklyn, New York. He reminded me of myself, a lot of spunk for a small guy, along with a bit of a “mouth” and very little respect for authority. “Tell me it isn’t so,” he said; that I wasn’t “let go;” that I would continue to be their “LT.”
Looking him in the eye. I told him what was needed to convince the others to get on the choppers and fly out of base camp. It was a lie. I lost a bit of innocence that day. I lost some integrity, a small part of my soul.
That has haunted me since. Until tonight, when I meditated with a group and we focused on healing past moments in our lives. By using this technique, I was able, for the first time, to view this incident not with the eyes of a 21-year-old inexperienced young man, but with the eyes of the “Higher Self.” I knew what I did was right. As a matter of fact, I now know that I had the law to back me up. Criminal Law, which I have learned from 20 years of practice.
You see, the common law, now codified into state statutes as well as in military practice, allows for a defense when a person commits one criminal act to prevent a far more serious act from occurring. For example, you break into a house to rescue someone from a fire. If you had not committed a burglary, the one in the house might have died.
Had I not taken the action I did, my men would have faced punishment under military law and the possibility of dishonorable discharges. I can now say I would have done the same thing, had I to do it all over again. Back then, however, I could not see that through the pain I felt. Nor did I have the wisdom to know the difference between one single principle and how an act of love, compassion and understanding could provide for the good of the many.
very nice you should tell me more of these stories!
You get an Associate’s Degree, Nikolai, and I’ll tell you some hair-raising adventures!
Now get back to your own Blog.
we loved reading this blog, you totally knocked it out of the ballpark! I have forwarded a link to my dad, and will definately be returning back for more.
Merci Mercedes. michael j