Grace under fire

… literally. Don’t expect the MSM to do any major reporting on this. Once you read it, I think you’ll understand why:

Earlier this summer, Private First Class Stephen Tschiderer — a medic attached to the 101st “Saber” Cavalry Division in Iraq from Mendon, N.Y. — was standing patrol on a street corner in Baghdad when he was hit square in the chest by a sniper’s bullet. The insurgents responsible for the attack were filming the incident as a snuff movie intended to build morale among murderers. Their camera was unsteady, but the recovered footage shows Private Tschiderer collapsing under the force of the bullet, then springing back up, adrenaline surging, his life saved by the protective body armor worn beneath his uniform. His fellow U.S. soldiers returned fire as Private Tschiderer sought cover behind their Humvee. The insurgents were hit and scrambled to get away. They were caught, and Private Tschiderer handcuffed and applied medical treatment to the man who had tried to kill him minutes before.

If there is a better story of forgiveness and grace under fire in this war, I have yet to hear it. This little-known incident, first reported by the Army Times, is fresh evidence of the fact that there is no moral equivalence between the sides in the war on terror. War does not make much room for St. Francis of Assisilike behavior, but Private Tschiderer’s actions stand out as among the least sordid acts ever recorded on a battlefield. In the long history of humanity, a far more normal thing to do would have been to blow your attacker’s head off with extreme prejudice. The stark contrast of this Hippocratic oath in action was not just a matter of personal kindness, but also American military training. Our troops may not be perfect — we are human beings at war, not angels in heaven — but there is no moral equivalence between terrorists who target innocent human life, and the soldiers of the civilized world who try to bind the wounds of those who have just tried to kill them in combat.

Here’s the Army Times write up on the incident. Make sure to click on the video link in the article as well.

Mega-ST salutes to Army Pfc. Stephen Tschiderer!