Posts Tagged ‘DADT’

The Guy Next to You (An Open Letter to All Patriotic Republican White Men)

Monday, May 28th, 2012

A follow-up to our other Memorial Day pieces, inspired by the Band of Brothers series, which I’m watching now, and the Ken Burns WW2 documentary on last week.


“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.” — Henry in Shakespeare’s Henry V


I’m watching Band of Brothers on Spike, which along with the Ken Burns WW2 documentary on last week made me think of this.

Imagine you’re a soldier, getting ready to go into action with your buddies. You’ve been in combat before, and so has the guy next to you. You’ve fought together, side by side, more than once. He’s risked his life for you, and you’ve risked yours for him. You know he’s got your back, and you’ve got his. Sure, you’re fighting for your country, but more immediately, you’re fighting for each other.

Would you care about that guy any less if he were Catholic? Or Mormon? Or Jewish?

Would you care about him less if he were atheist? Black? A Muslim? Would you care less about him if he were a Democrat?

Would you care less about that guy, that guy who fought beside you, who risked his life for you and you for him, if he were gay?

I know how the overwhelming majority of our Armed Forces, past and present, would answer that question, and for that, and their service to our Nation, I honor them.

Would you do the same?


Here’s perhaps the best expression of the “guy next to you” idea, Henry’s St. Crispin’s day speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V, which inspired the book and HBO series title.

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