One of my favorite books…”Conversations with Major Dick Winters.”
A reluctant American hero, Richard Winters was one of the reasons I chose service in the US Army Infantry. I’ve walked many of his footsteps on European battlefields where the “Band of Brothers” fought tyranny and oppression.
During his life, Winters consistently placed the highest emphasis on moral courage, noting that physical courage is so much more common and requires far less of a Leader’s commitment than its moral counterpart. This is true whether taking the guns on Brecourt Manor, assaulting Foy in the Battle of the Bulge, or finding peace on a farm in Pennsylvania Dutch country.
Winters believed that Leaders are made…and that they are made through the fostering of “good” habits. When the going gets tough, Leaders rely on a high-level of training, dedication, and the faithful habits they’ve relied upon for years.
Leaders don’t simply step up in crucial moments, especially those times when moral courage is required. Trust me, when bullets are flying between our legs, our natural inclination is not to plow forward and defeat the enemy. It’s also true in a moral sense.
We’re losing approximately 492 WWII veterans each day, according to the National WWII Museum. I hope and pray that we, as American citizens, will guard, cherish, and spread the hope that these Leaders passed along to us.