I spend so much digital ink bemoaning the state of the Democrat party on this site, I want to take a post to honor one of the very few liberals that I have respect for- the Late Senator Paul Douglas, who died in September of 1976. He was a man who lived during a time when the Democrats at least were not complete assholes.
Why does he deserve such respect? In the year 1942, he became the oldest man to ever attend boot camp at Parris Island, at the age of 50. Of course, being a politician, he used his connections to rise from the rank of Private to Staff Sergeant within two months of completing basic training. After only seven months, he was promoted to Captain.
Now it would be at this point that most well connected politicians would have found a way to dodge any real combat. Not Douglas. He volunteered to go overseas, and wound up fighting with the First Marine Division. He earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze star for actions in the battle of Peleliu. During that battle, he killed a Japanese soldier in hand to hand combat, and was wounded while attempting to hand carry ammunition to the front line. I can respect that, unlike today’s officers that get a Bronze star for creating compelling power points.
He volunteered to serve as a rifleman in an infantry platoon and was himself wounded by a machine gun while attempting to carry out wounded Marines. After being hit, he proceeded to use his uninjured hand to take off his major’s oak leaves so that he wouldn’t receive special attention. A fellow Marine, Pfc. Paul E. Ison had this to say: “If I live to be 100 years old I will never forget this scene. There, lying on the ground, bleeding from his wound was a white-haired Marine major. He had been hit by a machine gun bullet. Although he was in pain, he was calm and I have never seen such dignity in a man. He was saying ‘Leave me here. Get the young men out first. I have lived my life. Please let them live theirs.”
We as Americans should be proud to have been served by men of honor such as these. Mr. Douglas, I salute you, sir.