We should all grieve the passing of Ron Ridenhour, of a heart attack, at age 52. While commissioned and non commissioned officers stood mute, in the face of terrible rumors of massacre, Ron Ridenhour did something about it. That says much for him as a man and a soldier.

This was no long haired "Peacenik," screaming vile pro-communist slogans, this was one of us. He did what any good soldier should have done; he revealed evil where he found it. He betrayed no one. He did what was right and correct. That made him a better soldier than anyone who did not.

There have been many stories, from the right and the left, about the massacre at My Lai. Most carry the baggage of each side's opinions about the war in general. But Ron Ridenhour did what honor required. He did it for a very good reason; there is never an excuse to push unarmed old folks, women, children or anyone else, into a ditch and kill them. It has nothing to do with politics or guerrilla warfare. It has to do with right and wrong. Not something taught in the Army, but, at your mother's knee.

Rest in peace, good soldier!

Copyright 1998, by Mark A. Smith, Major, USA, Retired

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