To the Editor:
Like many others who served in the U.S. Army, I raised my right hand and swore to defend the United States Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and to obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me.
I was fortunate and got to do that throughout 20 years of active service. There were times during those 20 years that I had to make a choice between what was lawful and what was extremely stupid or dangerous.
I was convinced that I did not give up my right of survival to further someone’s career, meet a false deadline, or hand over my life (and career) to accommodate gross stupidity. I might risk my career. I certainly would not risk my life for something that did not pass the “reasonable person” test.
Plunging a heavily loaded and probably top-heavy Army truck full of trapped soldiers into a raging torrent on rain swollen Owl Creek does not pass the good-sense test to me. Especially, if it was to meet a training requirement (non-tactical) deadline.
Whatever happened to our duty to protect our fellow soldiers? Whatever happened to common sense? It smacks of a false sense of urgency to me that killed nine people.
Whoever made that terrible decision and issued the order sending those people to their death will pay for it one day. Whoever was not willing to risk their career by saying, “No, I will not do this” is also guilty of a fatal act of complicity by their silence.
Lastly, to blame this tragedy on a dead soldier and another soldier who was on military leave at the time of the incident does not pass the “smell test” to me!
What has happened to: Duty, Honor, Country? Has “Honor” been redacted in the accident report?