A Culture of Sacrifice
“It was October 25, 2007, and the moon shone brightly over the rugged terrain of eastern Afghanistan. Elements of 1st Platoon, B Company (173rd Airborne Brigade), walked cautiously back to their outpost after completing their assigned mission. But unknown to them, an unseen enemy waited in ambush. In the three minutes of confusion and chaos that comprised this surprise attack, then Specialist Sal Giunta responded under the intense enemy fire with such courage that he was nominated for, and eventually received, America’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor. When asked why he braved incessant machine-gun and small-arms fire during the ambush to charge the enemy alone in search of one of his fellow soldiers, his straightforward reply was, ‘He would have done the same for me.’”
“This type of trust and commitment is often mentioned by those who exhibit extraordinary heroism in combat. They risk much with the knowledge that those around them are equally committed. In ways many cannot understand, the success or failure of the U.S. military’s mission rests upon this type of fraternity. It holds teams and platoons together in the face of the sheer terror, or sheer boredom, of war.”
This is how David Temples, pastor at Westwood Presbyterian Church in Dothan, Alabama, begins his contribution to this month’s issue of Tabletalk. As a former platoon commander with both infantry and reconnaissance units in the U. S. Marine Corps, he speaks with some authority. You will want to read what he has to say about A Culture of Sacrifice.