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Every so often the word goes out at Fort Leavenworth to gather along Grant Avenue. Leavenworth is not a typical military post. At most bases, young servicemen and -women dominate the population, but the focus at Leavenworth is educating midgrade officers, a more experienced group. These days, the overwhelming majority has been to war in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or both. They have seen combat firsthand. They have seen a lifetime’s worth of death and destruction. Even more, they have led troops under fire and have had to order young people into harm’s way. They have seen the people they had to guide and protect shot down, blown up, and shattered beyond all recognition. They have had to write the letters to grieving families, trying to explain why their world will never be the same.
This perspective is what the midgrade officers bring to the assembly at Leavenworth, when the entire post lines up along Grant Avenue, to pay tribu ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 March 2012, on page 19
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