Life lessons of a Warrior
We all make choices daily that determines how we lead our lives in what we value. John T. Corley is an example of a man who took tenacious action to support what he valued. His vigorous performance of duty over a lifetime to defeat fascism and defend freedom led him to be one of the most decorated soldiers in American history. His life offers some lessons that we can apply today.
Before Theodore Roosevelt became a military officer, a Governor or even President he always sought out an active lifestyle. In 1895 he wrote, “A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage… For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”
John T. Corley was a man who aimed to wear out rather than rust out.
Normandy Invasion “D-Day” June 1944. Troops wade ashore from a LCVP landing craft, off “Omaha” Beach, 6 June 1944 (Photo: U.S. Army)
Moral Courage of Silas Soule
We immediately recognize brave acts of physical courage. They are often well witnessed and touted as a brave act. Sometimes, the strength of moral courage is missed. Moral courage is based on actions taken for moral reasons despite the risk of consequences. Having the moral courage to act, regardless of the consequences, is rare.
It is especially rare when it is not popular to do so. The life of Captain Silas Soule is one of those rare instances of a man having the moral courage to not act when it was not a popular decision amongst his peers.
Retired Captain Martin Gelb was part of the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency. Now 98, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his for his actions during WWII on June 25, 2018.
He served in England, France and Germany on missions that included supporting U.S. and British operations during the D-Day invasion and assisting with the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
Retired Army Capt. Martin Gelb, 98, holds his Congressional Gold Medal given to him Monday, June 25, 2018, in Derry, New Hampshire. Gelb was honored for his World War II service with the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency. (AP Photo/Holly Ramer)
Courtesy of Army Times article
Bravery in the Spanish-American War is remarkable since so many men were recognized for a war that was so short. Hostilities in the Spanish-American War lasted less than four months before an armistice was signed. The number of patriots that volunteered to serve in the Spanish-American War is notable. The number of men recognized for their courage for such a short duration in U.S. history is astonishing.
Integrity in battle
On a crisp morning of an Autumn solstice, Julius led his men towards their adversary not knowing how the next day would unfold. Under intense pressure from the enemy, Julius and his men battled fiercely while forging up steep hills. It was a strange, dangerous place. Julius aimed to do what’s right when everything around him told him to do the opposite. The battle forced him to confront his fears. He was faced with hard moral choices in the circumstances without the usual external restraints. Julius relied on his inner resources to not quit and to continue.
2nd Infantry Division north of the Chongchon River, Sergeant First Class Cleveland, weapons squad leader, points out North Korean positions to his machine gun crew. November 20, 1950.
Stars and Stripes by Meredith Tibbetts
November 13, 2015
Stars and Stripes
October 1, 2017
Why I’m writing this blog: Inspirational stories of virtue
Inspirational stories of virtue tested in battle:
- Educate readers on little known or forgotten stories from military history.
- Entertain readers who share the love for military history.
- Elevate readers by sharing stories of virtue to inspire us to be better people.
To understand where I’m going with this, perhaps it may be help to start with what inspired me early in life and what brought me to writing stories about military history.