THIS is who we are ...

-- at least, who we like to think of ourselves as being -- who we want to be and who we can try to be -- people who do NOT give up our humanity, turn into sociopathic hate machines (even when circumstances might excuse it). This is why those of us who love our country react harshly AGAINST reports that we torture, because that's not who we are.

Those who defend a policy of torture (Redrum Rumsfeld, et al) or who think we're at the point of being Nazi's (Dick Durbin) need to resign their posts, go into retreat, and reconsider the fact that this is the only country in the world founded on an idea -- not just because our tribe had been living there (in fact we took it away from the tribes living there and pretty much killed them all) but on an idea that inspires and an ideal to which we may aspire.

This man -- Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, of Mendon, New York -- deserves a salute from every person in uniform, regardless of rank, same as if he wore the blue ribbon with white stars that denotes a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Thank you private, for reminding us who we want to be:

... Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer, of Mendon, New York ... Baghdad June 2 l... routine patrol in Baghdad, Tschiderer, a medic, was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper, hiding in a van just 75 yards away. The incident was videotaped by the insurgents.

Tschiderer, was knocked to the ground from the impact, but he wasn’t killed, thanks to the protective body armor he was wearing. “I knew I was hit,” said Tschiderer, “but was uncertain of the damage or location of the hit. The only thing going through my mind was to take cover and locate the sniper’s position.'

After a few seconds, Tschiderer jumped to his feet, shot back, then took cover and located the sniper.

After being shot and calling for help, other soldiers from Tschiderer’s unit joined him and together they tracked down the wounded sniper by following the blood trail he left as he and another attacker fled the scene.

The sniper was handcuffed and given medical aid by the very man he had tried to kill, Tschiderer.

“Treating the man who shot me didn't really sink in until afterwards. At the time, I just did my job and didn't really think about it too much...'

Tschiderer is with E Troop, 101st “Saber” Cavalry Division, attached to 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division."

We can only hope this is really the way it happened -- and I believe it, because it involves too much humanity to be a propaganda construct of this soulless administration.

Once again, thank you, Private Tschiderer.


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