Saturday, November 22, 2008

From France with Love

Yes, it has been a while since I've contributed anything to Palin Drone, so when I came across this remarkable story via the Anchoress, I knew it was time to get back in the game. Many of us love to pick on the French (rightfully so, in some instances) but this long overdue post would like to give credit where it's due -- to a French Infantryman in Afghanistan who has only undiluted praise for his American allies. Thanks to Jules Crittendon, whom I believe was the original blogger on the story. I sure hope the folks back in France, as well as the anti-troop lefties here in America take the time to read the words of this honorable Frenchman:

“We have shared our daily life with two US units for quite a while - they are the first and fourth companies of a prestigious infantry battalion whose name I will withhold for the sake of military secrecy. To the common man it is a unit just like any other. But we live with them and got to know them, and we henceforth know that we have the honor to live with one of the most renowned units of the US Army - one that the movies brought to the public as series showing “ordinary soldiers thrust into extraordinary events”. Who are they, those soldiers from abroad, how is their daily life, and what support do they bring to the men of our OMLT every day ? Few of them belong to the Easy Company, the one the TV series focuses on. This one nowadays is named Echo Company, and it has become the support company.

They have a terribly strong American accent - from our point of view the language they speak is not even English. How many times did I have to write down what I wanted to say rather than waste precious minutes trying various pronunciations of a seemingly common word? Whatever state they are from, no two accents are alike and they even admit that in some crisis situations they have difficulties understanding each other.

Heavily built, fed at the earliest age with Gatorade, proteins and creatine - they are all heads and shoulders taller than us and their muscles remind us of Rambo. Our frames are amusingly skinny to them - we are wimps, even the strongest of us - and because of that they often mistake us for Afghans.

Here we discover America as it is often depicted : their values are taken to their paroxysm, often amplified by promiscuity and the loneliness of this outpost in the middle of that Afghan valley. Honor, motherland - everything here reminds of that : the American flag floating in the wind above the outpost, just like the one on the post parcels. Even if recruits often originate from the hearth of American cities and gang territory, no one here has any goal other than to hold high and proud the star spangled banner.

Each man knows he can count on the support of a whole people who provides them through the mail all that an American could miss in such a remote front-line location : books, chewing gums, razorblades, Gatorade, toothpaste etc. in such way that every man is aware of how much the American people backs him in his difficult mission. And that is a first shock to our preconceptions : the American soldier is no individualist. The team, the group, the combat team are the focus of all his attention.

That last paragraph reminds me of a letter I received from a British soldier this past September, in which he thanked me profusely for the care packages I'd donated via Move America Forward, Soldiers Angels and the web-a-thon-they'd put together back in June. Some of the contents had been shared with him by an American soldier, one of many who sympathizes with his British counterparts for the abject lack of support they receive from their own countrymen.

In the frenzy of election hype and politics, it is sometimes easy to forget the uniqueness of the United States of America and its citizens. The majority of Americans genuinely regard our troops as the heroes they are, and as a result, demonstrate tangible support (not merely lip service) through the donation of goods and money. And while some on the left may scoff at us "yokels" who take the work of our military very seriously, it is gratifying to know that it does not go unnoticed by allied soldiers serving on behalf of their countrymen. I only wish that the citizens of France and England would demonstrate the same high regard for their enlisted men and women.

God bless all of the allied troops, the writer of this article and everyone who understands that freedom isn't free. Particularly with Thanksgiving around the corner, it's one of the most important things to be grateful for!


philly said...

this has got to be the bigest bunch of crap ever written. the "uniqueness" of america and it's citizens. as for france and britain-has this idiot ever been to either one of these countries? this is such a bunch of wonder though. i've just clicked on the author's "book" and read one chapter too much of some of the most boring, yet seemingly over rated (mainly by subjective family members it appears?)literary crap ever. further proof that self publishing should be outlawed as it allows for such watered down, mediocre blather about some chick from philly pining for some guy in her fantasy.....

the french that happen to be in afghanistan aren't even regular army. they're some of the most feared and bad-ass soldiers on earth--- look it up. the famed and feared 2nd REP....of the elite and completely "un-wimpy or skinny" French Foreign Legion....

Doc Paul said...


You are a troll. At least some trolls shoot for amusing or at least amusingly annoying, whereas you manage to get no better than merely irritating.

You don't like what the French soldier said? Then why shoot the messenger? It's hardly as if this is the first time I have read something like this. I recall having read comments by a British soldier (I think he was an officer) wistfully noting that American troops get tickets to sporting events, care packages from ordinary citizens, and all manner of communication from school children's greeting cards to e-mails to phone calls. I don't think the tone would have been wistful if he received the same treatment from his fellow Brits.

Which leads me to ask: What's your point in challenging the truth content? Can't believe that there is something special about the way American citizens support their troops? Why? Daria brought forth evidence in her post, as I have in this comment, in support of that position. You offer, in reply, attitude without content. I know who I trust to have delivered a more convincing take on things. Hint: not you.

And please, abide by your own rule: don't comment on anything having to do with a country you yourself haven't visited, okay? You enunciated the rule; now live by it.

And liberal fascists love to make rules regulating other people's behavior. Hey, if you don't want to read a book, don't read it. You don't have to pass a law banning self-publishing to avoid a book you don't want to read. We let you post here even though you have nothing of interest to say. Free speech for thee but not for others?

You tried once to make a cogent response to a post, and failed. I appreciated the effort, though, and thought it might indicate a desire on your part to post comments designed to engage rather than irritate. I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. I will return to ignoring you, and suggest that if your life is so small that you get your jollies berating posts at this blog, that you really need to get a life. Read other blogs if this one is so beneath your intellectual standards. Why not write your own? - hey, I promise that I will respectfully answer whatever it is you write about. I know that I can't expect the same from you, but I am better than lowering myself to your level.

Like Donovan McNabb, it is time to wish you adieu, philly. Buona sera.

philly said...

great job at ignoring me.....welcome back. silly doc. philly has traveled, lived, and firsthand experience with what he writes.....that why i suspect that pseudo writer with the patriotic-love-gone-wrong angst finds such ill bent articles. i've lived in europe, and before that the UK, and if she knew anything, she would know that unlike the many countries the UK is a fierce and loyal country to its troops. i lived through the IRA campaign and saw firsthand how the people supported the troops. I saw too how they backed their boys 100% on the eight week sail to the falklands.....the british unlike my amateur love-struck writer--are both wiser and much more pragmatic with regard to the use of their soldiers. they also don't label the countrymen as "unpatriotic" for disagreeing with foreign policies of their government. the reason the people (of the UK and the world) don't support this campaign is because it is fundamentally flawed and waged on lies and greed. your blogger only wants to write of the sappy "strong american and values" that's all bullshit. i assure you if given a real war based upon real principles you'd see just as many supporters as the writer who's only been to some cheesy seaside town outside of ocean city, philly, and florida.

doc please ignore me again. i love it. as for being a liberal facist, tell me doc, what branch did you serve in? i am more a realist -- i don't buy the lies and slaughter of my brothers--if that makes me a facist, so be it. but i've done my time.

The D said...

So you've traveled far and wide and gathered such a vast knowledge of how very supportive these countries are, and these countries, being so good to their soldiers, send compliments to us on how we treat ours? Me, I'm greatly elated to see this. You, you seem to be ticked that this kills your political expediency.

Way to go.

"philly has traveled, lived, and firsthand experience with what he writes....."

Don't tag me as a silly little child and then display your own personal 3rd-person Elmo complex.

Mark said...

Yo PHilly, Happy Thanksgiving, although you probably don't celebrate this "imperialist" holiday. Hey,cut the crap about your world travels. You've never been east of Kensington and Allegheny. My what time you have. I try to squeeze in a few minutes late at night to blog, yet you seem to have endless time to comment. I suppose unemployment suits you well. PS Sit in a cool bath, it will cure your painful, rectal itch.

philly said...

marky...funny lad. i've taken note of your keen interest in my bottom....nothing surprising there though. history would remind you marky that thanksgiving is anything but an imperialist holiday.

i see i've stirred the 7th grade republican club at spring lake middle school. you're all such a funny little group. have you read the book yet? maybe when you're all a bit older your mommies will let you read the sweeping "..patriotic fantasy love story of unrequited love..." happy thanksgiving kids, i'm grteful for the endless amusement of your little club. look at this way, if it were not for me, no one would even bother responding to your endless boring posts, much of which are just copied and pasted from idiots like michele malkin. i never did here what branch of service little doc served, as for the rest of you silly kids the cub scouts are an admirable group.....

The D said...

That's what amuses me - you don't respond to the posts. You just imagine us as little kids, enjoy your cute little fantasies, and then beat down what you've made up, all the while thinking you've made an unbeatable argument.

No one here is interested in your bottom. Mark's just saying you need to get your hand out of it. Me, I say you need to get your head out.

The D said...

Oh yeah, and you didn't even answer the question I sent your way on this thread.

"great job at ignoring me....."

philly said...

good one little d.

The D said...

If you would answer one question I asked you with something other than some Pre-K level insult or word-around, maybe I would think of you as less of an idiot.

Just a thought.

philly said...

you think you're sean hannity?.....i answer nothing from a twit like are amusing though so carry on little man--your turn.

The D said...

I don't intend to or want to be Sean Hannity.

It's always been my turn. You're too afraid to take yours.

philly said...

afraid.....that's a good word for such a "sky is falling" blog. your losing party ran on a ticket of trying to make people afraid too....what people were in fact afraid of was idealogies that preached more war, more fiscal irresponsibility, executive ineptness (moose girl), and the politics of preaching fear.

go hug your teddybear little D, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. philly certainly doesn't fear your weeblo club of kiddy bloggers......on the contrary you've all become the "our gang" of pseudo political pundits who seem to think they've got some lock on patriotism and politics....

can i thank you all though? you add a daily dose of chuckles to my life with your constant quoting of articles and my posts, not to mention your verbose huffing and puffing amounting to nothing. i love how easily you all get rattled too.....the tough-talking-on-the-internet crew who were the wimps in real life. keep reinventing your online personnas, you've got me really scared now....silly kids.

The D said...

Look, see? You almost had a real response, but you're so addicted to calling us kids it all fell apart.

Can't you just have a civil discussion? I'm sure you do in real life - so why not stop building your own online persona and just talk?