Among Soldiers, There Exists Honor

There is a certain code, or there used to be used to be a certain code, amongst soldiers. (I am not sure it applies to our bearded frenemies in that East between the Far and the Near.) This story perfectly illustrates the point:

I was Artillery in the Army. In 1984 we went to Japan to exercise with the JGSDF in an exercise called Michinoku 84. We were there long enough to get a few weekends free. On one of our jaunts we went into the local city. For the life of me I can’t remember it’s name. I need to go back to my old journal and refresh my memory. Anyway, while there we did what all American tourists do I imagine. We hit a restaurant that looked like a little slice of home. A McDonalds. It was different. You ordered and then sat down and had the food delivered to the table. They served rice instead or french fries. There were at least a half dozen of us. Young, loud, hungry GIs, none of whom spoke a word of Japanese. After several minutes of pidgin English and wild gesticulations we were interrupted by an elderly Japanese gentleman. He got the gist of what we wanted and then shooed us off to a table. He placed our order and paid for the entire meal. It had to have cost him a bundle. Prices were high anyway and for beef they were outrageous. He came and sat with us, refusing all offers to pay him back. We talked as we ate and found out he’d been an Artillery officer in the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII. He’d seen combat.

Please do read it all. . .

10 thoughts on “Among Soldiers, There Exists Honor”

  1. That was a wonderful story, Navy One…and I read the comments….I think we share more in common with the military veterans of other countries because underneath it all, we all love our respective homelands and would die to defend them….does that cover the gist of it? How often today when you think about it do we see Americans expressing love of country? I mean seriously: does the current CIC actually claim that? I see no evidence of it…he’d rather be cool and loved by Hollywood celebrities…k

  2. Yesterday I was commenting to EB, and I got out my “We Were Soldiers” book to look something up. As I strummed through the pictures, I came across photos of Hal Moore meeting with the North Vietnamese generals whom he fought against in the Ia Drang Valley years after the battle. It amazes me how there is an honor or respect amongst soldiers – even those who were our enemies. It seems to me that is the theme of his book – they were soldiers – they were young. It did not matter their politics then or now; they fought for their lives and for the lives of their fellow soldiers.

  3. That’s the thing about veterans from all countries. We all served our country and we did our jobs. We had nothing to do with the politics – that was for balding fat men to understand – we just did the job we were trained to do. Then went home. Win or lose, one still did the job they were assigned – sometimes even more – that makes us all brothers. Those in uniform that is. Now days, there is no armed forces to fight. Just civilians over a religion and an ideal. Nothing in common with them.

    1. Unfortunately, CP that’s the next conflict we will be fighting….whether progressive/liberal moral relativism has a religious connotation or we bow down to a theocracy that Islam is determined the rest of the world will be a part of…I’ll go down fighting a seventh century barbaric ideology until I am laid under…our values remain Judeo-Christian and Western; I refuse to bow to these jackasses that can’t even get a date without raping a woman….just a random thought CP….and something to think about….k

      1. Collectivism & all its alias’ (Communism, Liberalism, Socialism, Progressivism) IS a secular religion. Their Ecclesiastics are the tenured Education Industry Dons, their Priest Caste are the Psychiatrists and their foot soldier monks in the “Metal Health Industry.”
        Their god is the Great Autocrat and their sacrement is Untrammeled Power.

  4. I kind of felt the same way when we would pass a Russian naval vessel (this was in 1986). Even though we were adversaries, I felt a common bond with them because we were all sailors.

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