Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Brooks on our Boys Being Back from the Battle

David Brooks on his encounter with recently returning troops. Roger L. Simon says it is Brooks at his best:
This was going to be a column exclusively about a trans-Atlantic security conference that took place in Munich last weekend. But on the way back, the U.S. delegation stopped for refueling at Shannon Airport in Ireland.

A bunch of us were milling about in the airport bar, holding little Irish coffees, when hundreds of marines started flooding into the terminal. This was their first chance at a beer after eight months of mayhem in the Sunni Triangle. They streamed in looking thick-necked and strong, but they also had wide-eyed, tentative expressions on their faces, like people trying to reacclimate to the manners of normal life.


This unit had lost 22 men, including several in the last weeks. I talked to one kid who had a craggy scar running across the side of his skull. He was proud of how Election Day went and said Iraqis were working harder to take care of their own streets.

I told a bunch of them some senators were on the other side of the bar if they wanted to shake hands. One of them was blasé, but the rest were pleased to go over - especially when they saw John McCain and Joe Lieberman. These were not guys grown cynical about their political leaders.

Read the rest here.

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