And the reality we all share - that humans will make mistakes or twist facts to aggrandize themselves or promote an agenda. But more importantly, it's about why we should give people who want one a second chance to redeem themselves.
From Michael Yon, the blogger who braves Iraq and other war zones free of editors and bosses of any sort. Beauchamp and The Rule of Second Chances: Pass it Along.
Some months ago, a soldier in Baghdad wrote a piece on the way war can degrade the morals and affect the judgment of combat soldiers. His story was published at face-value in The New Republic magazine. In it the soldier wrote terrible things about his unit, making the article sensational.
I was in Iraq when it first hit the stands and someone asked me about the plausibility of the events described in the article. I skimmed the story but it did not even pass a simple sniff-test. With a shooting war going on, there is no time for trivial pursuits, so my only comment was something like, “It sounds like a bunch of garbage.” Turned out it was. . .
Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not. He faced his peers. I can only imagine the cold shoulders, and worse, he must have gotten. He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it.