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The power of forgiveness.

...and on the nature of just being tough. And the moral cost of war on the participants. And the costs of torture. And worthy of a stand-alone post.

Read Lieutenant Lomax's story here. H/t, Jim C.


What a great man. And what a valuable lesson.
My mind cannot wrap around the concept of inflicting so much pain and torture upon another human being, and for what? A radio? I know that despicable people throughout time have studied how much abuse a human body can take before dying, but the mental anguish suffered by the survivors is just as real and even more devastating. I am equally amazed by our ability to forgive those who trespass against us, and I firmly believe this can be done only with the help of God. How else could we muster the strength to face, and forgive, anyone who has inflicted so much pain upon our lives? I don't think of myself as a deeply religious person- I can't quote the bible nor can I forgive myself as my Father has forgiven me... but I hope that someday I will, just as Nagase was eventually able to. My mind just cannot fathom the dedication, courage, faith, and strength it took to inflict OR endure such beatings.
As a reminder, to the Japanese, due to the code of Bushido as it was in WWII, soldiers who surrendered were no longer men. They had no rights at all and were to be treated as they pleased. I am not making excuses for the horrors the Japanese inflicted as one would expect a people with a long history of civilization would have advanced more morally. Our German friends were no better. That Americans and English remain so moral amid the horror of war is something that should be studied.
Wow. That story gave me tears and chills. But I do not find the forgiveness so hard to believe. Anger and hatred--even when justified--will eat one up. To let it all go in forgiveness is to severely reduce the hated things power over oneself, as the British soldier learned when his nightmares almost disappeared after he forgave. What I find more amazing is the courage of the Japanese soldier to own his transgressions and attempt to redeem himself, even to the point of meeting a man upon whom he heaped so much abuse.
Lex wrote: "But the lesson stuck with me: We’re not all the people we appear to be. John wrote: "In my world, commanders who fail to understand that statement as it applies to themselves… are the most dangerous of commanders. Mostly to their troops, not the enemy." You cannot imagine how strong a chord both of those statements struck in me. I don't know why, they just did, and a memory of me as a buck sergeant (E5) came rushing in. Nothing special, really, no great tale in this, but I think a reaction to simple recognition of a universal truth one has had to learn the hard way. There is a compact between the leader and the led, and while it is good for the leader to expect much from the led, and to challenge them to excel beyond what they feel capable of, it is also important that the leader be most critical of himself, and constantly, constantly reassessing motives and abilities.... To ensure faithful service to those who follow us, is how I tend to think of it. Z'at make sense?
Oops... I put this in the wrong post... Meant it to be under H&I Fires (for 6th)... so I'll put it there too...