Have We All Become Such Cowards?
Published Friday, September 22, 2006 by Nate | E-mail this post
By: Sgt Majors Myers
Thu Sep 21, 2006 at 02:26:35 PM PDT
During the course of my military career I received training on how to survive being a Prisoner of War (POW). In a very controlled training environment I was subjected to "torture" that included humiliation (being kept nude), physical abuse such as slaps, belly slaps, punching, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, threats of electrocution, and even water-boarding. We, I and my fellow soldiers, were exposed to this in training because it was made clear to us that as soldiers, should we ever become a POW we should be prepared for and expect this kind of treatment from the "bad guys".
This treatment was put upon us in a controlled environment and we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that no matter what we would not be permanently or irreparably harmed in any way and yet it was still a life altering, horrendous and humiliating experience.
The training was particularly poignant to us in that it was conducted in conjunction with our training on the Geneva Conventions. It was made clear that we as American soldiers were expected to conduct ourselves in a morally upright and honorable manner no matter what ours or our comrades in arms treatment was at the hands of an enemy. We were given detailed in depth training on the Geneva Conventions and we were given extensive hands on training in how to treat prisoners of war should we be faced with that situation.
I believe that we all, to a soldier, learned our lessons well because I can say without equivocation that in the ensuing nearly three decades of my military career, which included several combat tours, I never treated a POW, nor did I personally witness a POW being treated in any manner that could ever be construed as inhumane.
As a young soldier that training taught me something much deeper than just how to expect to be treated as a POW or how I should treat a POW. It taught me that America was a nation founded on the rule of law and a nation that still strived to achieve and maintain the moral high ground no matter how the enemy conducted themselves. It taught me that we weren't a nation built on religious fanaticism but one built on human dignity and justice. We didn't gauge how we treated others by how we were treated but how we as human beings expected to be treated.Read the full diary entry here...