James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Another Casualty of War

Jason Robert Tharp did not belong in the Marines, and would not have been there if our military was not desperate for cannon fodder. In an earlier, pre-war time, it would have been easier for him to quit. Ilana Mercer writes:

Video footage of his penultimate day on earth, captured accidentally by an NBC affiliate in Columbia, S.C., is heartrending. The ungainly, gangly youth was petrified, shaking in his military boots, as a Marine drill instructor first challenged him, and then thumped him hard, infuriated by the bumbling boy's refusal to plunge into the practice pool. The next day, Feb. 8, Tharp was dead. He drowned during water survival training.

The little we know of this small-town West Virginian ought to have been sufficient for a recruiter (unencumbered by rapidly falling enlistment rates) to disqualify the boy from the start. Jason lacked "
the warrior spirit." He was shy, soft spoken, and bookish. He wanted to study art, and liked to draw cartoons, not blood. He had never left home before, except for a weekend at a friend's. Wishing to spare his parents the expense, Jason joined the Marines to earn money for college. Before enlisting, he had worked for Wendy's.

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