But I digress... The story of the Canadian was written by another warrior and Vietnam veteran Karl Marlantes who was awarded the Navy Cross, Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Metals for Valor, two Purple Hearts and ten air metals. This Marine veteran is a true American Hero.
In his Forward to Storm of Steel, Marlantes describes the recipient of this dedication, George Jmaeff, like Ernst Junger, a born warrior. He goes on to write,"...Jmaeff, a young Canadian who came south and joined the U.S. Marines to fight in Vietnam. He was about six foot three, looked like Errol Flynn, and carried a sawed-off M-60 machine gun-normally a crew-served weapon, but he modified it so he could wield it alone. He always walked point. He always volunteered for the dangerous jobs. "Canada" as everyone called him, was iconic, known and talked about all over the regiment. Yet he wasn't crazy or stupidly aggressive. He was levelheaded, cool under fire, and a born leader who did not expose his fellow Marines to unnecessary risk.. In short, he was good at war."
Marlantes continues..."My fellow Marine Canada was badly wounded in an assault. He was honorably out of the fight, in the care of a U.S. Navy corpsman, lying on the ground receiving IV fluid for loss of blood and shock, when he heard that his platoon was pinned down by an NVA machine gun. He tore the IV tubes from his arm, grabbed an M-16 and took out the enemy machine gun, saving the lives of many of his friends. He died doing it and was awarded a posthumous Navy Cross."
Marlantes concludes, "We don't choose, as Heidegger puts it, how we are 'thrown into the world'". We choose how we conduct ourselves.
Let us pause today and honor our immigrants.
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