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The indomitable human spirit, part 1

Posted by Richard on March 11, 2007

There are people in this world whose courage and character and strength are so remarkable and profound that it moves me to tears. One of them is an Afghan nicknamed Rambo (HT: Michelle Malkin) who guards Camp Phoenix near Kabul:

In fairness, his story is not just about the day he stopped a suicide bomber, when the steel of his resolve to protect American troops became so apparent to all who did not know him. To those who do, who gave him the "Rambo" nickname, the name tag, and the stick, his devotion was already evident.

At every corner of Camp Phoenix, Rambo stops to salute American officers. Soldiers heading out on patrol call out his name as if he were a fraternity brother. He is unquestionably one of them, because he is so willing to make the same sacrifice that they, too, have been called upon to make.

Yet he is also unquestionably Afghan, and never more so than when he smothered his countryman and would-be martyr at the front gate. To Rambo, whose name has been withheld for his protection, what happened that day was a matter of pride – a personal pride that burns deeper than love of country, or family, or faith.

"I made a promise to every American soldier," he says in grave tones. "Even if there is only one American soldier, I will be here to protect him."

Amid Camp Phoenix's soil-filled blast walls and bristling guard towers, designed to keep soldiers separate from the unsettled Afghanistan beyond, Rambo is a living lesson in the character of his country, where friends pledge their lives to defend you and enemies never rest until you have been destroyed.

Read. The. Whole. Thing. And join me in celebrating that such men exist.

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