courage isn't simply a matter of leading charges: sometimes it consists in speaking up, sometimes in stoic silence, sometimes in forging ahead, sometimes in circumspection, and sometimes in nothing less than preserving our own humanity.

— Elizabeth Samet

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The allure of military life and its heroic promise seem indestructible, but nothing threatens the romance of war more effectively than war itself.

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Our national fondness for celebrating the physical heroism of soldiers - the apparent readiness with which they sacrifice their lives to larger causes - eclipses the far less romantic displays of moral and intellectual fortitude that also distinguish so many of them. In turning them all into heroes, we have lost a sense of the individuality they also fight to preserve.

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