Ma'm, I haven't really gave a great deal of thought to this. All the guys
in my outfit were volunteers. Just the fact were there probably proved
something. I saw only one man "break." After we escaped the machine gun fire on
our raid, he went and stood at the fantail of the ship. He wouldn't speak to
anyone. He just stared down into the water. I think he wouldn't even come
to chow. He wasn't in my platoon so I didn't know him very well. He didn't
go ashore with us at Wonson. I don't know whatever happened to the poor guy. I
hope he is OK now.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, September 04, 2002 4:09
Subject: Trust in combat
You've been very kind about answering what must seem simple minded and
strange questions, and your answers have always been very helpful. I
hope that you'll indulge me again.
There is, I think, general recognition that combat soldiers must earn
each other's trust. When a new man joins a unit he must earn the
old-timers' trust by proving he can be relied upon in a tight spot.
Scholars and soldiers often write of this. My question is ...can that
trust be broken? If so, what sort of behavior breaks that trust?
And, finally, do any of you recall witnessing a soldier losing the trust of
his comrades, and what did he do to make that happen?
As always, please feel free to email me off list.
Thanks very much.
"Well behaved women rarely make
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
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