"Every soldier learns in time that war is a lonely business," wrote Matthew Ridgway, one of America's great generals, who served in World War II and Korea. In the face of Ridgway's accurate observation is any soldier's sense that in battle, the man on your right or the man on your left could be the man who saves your life. Here are the stories of veterans who came to understand that, as lonely a business as war can be, the camaraderie planted in basic training and nurtured through the hardships of the battlefield is a powerful weapon against fear.
“I realized that if I don't just respect and remember and honor the boys who were there with me, nobody's going to.” (Audio interview, 53:43)
“It's kind of a family deal, but they're closer than family.”
“We all had our fears but seldom talked about it.”
“Then after a while you become one of them. That is when your body, your mind changes... You don't belong to the real Army.”
“There were a lot of pilots who didn't make it who were better than I.”