“A part of me loved war. Now, please understand, I’m a peaceful man, fond of children and animals. And, I believe that war should have no place in the affairs of men. But,” he said, reflecting on his tour of duty in Vietnam, “the comradeship our platoon experienced in that war provides a moving and enduring memory in me. A comrade in war is someone you can trust with anything, because you regularly trust him with your life. In war, individual possessions and advantage count for nothing. The group, the unit, the platoon is everything.”
Broyles goes on to describe how platoon members shared rice rations and passed around single cigarettes and shared the use of bamboo cots. He writes goes on to say, “In war, we regularly risked our lives to recover our wounded and dead. We often felt close enough to each other to call one another brothers.” Then, after describing the depth of feeling among the platoon members, he says it again: “A part of me loved war.” You get the feeling he’s not had a relational experience like that since.
Why is Broyles so passionate about his feelings, his positive feelings for Vietnam? I thought we all hated Vietnam.
I contend that it is because of the little platoon experience. And this little platoon experience is basic to Christian discipleship. People long for it; they need it. There is no maturity without it.
Josh Hunt. You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less.