As Bitter As It Is Illuminating

“Leave no man behind.”  This slogan is the peak of military romanticism.  No matter how much you suffer for the cause, you are never alone.  You belong to an unbreakable brotherhood of blood. “I’m expendable.”  This admission is the peak of military realism.  You’re not part of a loving “family”; you’re part of a callous system.  If you die, you’ll be replaced by someone else.  Before long, the men who sent you to your doom won’t even remember your name.