The hard part of command


Filed Under Military on Oct 29 


I came across this picture and accompanying story early this morning. It gave me reason to pause as it gave me an impression I have not had until this morning. My singular thought looking at this picture was “this is the most presidential thing I’ve ever seen President Obama do.”

He flew to Dover Air Force Base in the early morning hours to render respect unto the most recent casualties returning home from Afghanistan. It was all together fitting and proper that he should do this. These were soldiers and DEA agents whose orders sending them into harm’s way bore his signature.

Command is a very lonely place, never more solitary than at times like the one pictured above. The time will soon come when a hard command decision will have to be made which will determine the outcome of this cause for which these and so many other men have given the last full measure of devotion. As I look at this picture now, I’m reminded of the final words uttered by Captain John H. Miller to Private James Francis Ryan in the closing scene of Saving Private Ryan:

Earn this.