Prince Harry: Leading by EXAMPLE !

Prince Harry, age 22, has demanded that if his unit goes into battle in Iraq, he would be leading them. Having trained to become troop commander of an armored recon unit, the courageous prince had threatened to quit the army, if not allowed to serve on the frontline.

What a difference moral courage between him, and the man who is currently serving as President of the United States: When I served in Vietnam, George W. Bush found it convenient to fly National Guard planes around the United States. As a man who has never dared to place himself into harm's way, though he won't hesitate to expose others to danger, his words ring hollow, when he congratulates our wounded for their courage, and, with crocodile tears, thanks the traumatized dependents of our dead for their sacrifice - one which HE was NEVER willing to make.

My father, Gerhard May, was drafted into the German Army in World War II, though he detested the Nazi regime with all of his heart and soul. During my last visit with him, after I had completed the Jungle Operations Course in Panama, and just before I shipped out for Vietnam, he insisted that we have a serious talk: "When I served in the German Army, first in Yugoslavia, and then in Italy, all of my officers had one thing in common: They led by example, and always shared the risks with those of us under their command. If you can't do that, don't come back. Of course, I was shocked that my father would even think that I would not measure up to that standard, and, as S-5 of the 1/10 Cavalry Squadron, as Advisor to the 748 Regional Forces Montagnard Company, as well as during my posting as Advisor to the 25th ARVN Battalion at Trung Lap, at the edge of the "Iron Triangle", I kept faith with the promise to my father. More important, I kept that promise to myself, and to the men with whom I had the honor of serving.

Beside the obvious matter of rank and privilege, there is one more important difference between the prince and myself: He is obviously a lot better looking than I ever was, and, born into a privileged environment, he has a great deal more to lose. His willingness to expose himself to severe danger, together with the less fortunate of his countrymen, is the sign of a truly noble nature, which far transcends the accidents of birth into a privileged class. In our United States of America, we should earnestly pray, that we might, one day, be led by a man as great as Prince Harry of England, a man who is TRULY noble!


Repeating Soviet Mistakes in Afghanistan

Eighteen years after the defeated Soviet Army pulled out of Afghanistan, which helped to speed the collapse of their empire, many of their soldiers believe the United States is heading for a similar disaster. Retired Captain Vladimir Vshivtev (photo) was blinded by an improvised roadside bomb 20 years ago in Afghanistan, and he feels the pain of our troops , which are now suffering from the same nightmare. In fact, the Russian Soldiers who fought there can point to many similarities: Their arrival was greeted with flowers and smiles, but the climate changed very quickly: Though their army arrived with 120,000 men, they lost about 1,300 each year, about the size of our combined losses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

My personal experiences in Vietnam point to the same conclusion of this Russian officer. Captain Quoc, my friend and commander of the 25th ARVN battalion at Trung Lap, at the edge of the "Iron Triangle", confided in me that we would eventually lose this war: Every night, after we had finished our patrols, the "Vietcong" would visit the farmers who lived near their rice paddies, and asked them for a contribution to the Vietcong cause. They were fighting for their freedom, they said, against the Americans, who had brought death and destruction to their country. Then they asked for a contribution of rice to their army. Instead of money, they gave the farmers a receipt, payable when they would win the war.

Toward the end of that conflict, many farmers had a huge stack of these receipts under their matresses, which would be worthless if we had won that war, but could, in theory, be redeemed by a Vietcong government. Based on this financial interest, many "neutral" farmers now had bought shares in our enemies' victory, and they gave important intelligence information to our elusive enemy.