Monday, June 27, 2005

I Got It Wrong, Bigtime.

In my post about Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss being wounded I managed to get almost every detail wrong. Worse, I have managed to convey an impression to his friends and family of stupidity on his part. That impression is, most assuredly, wrong. Any stupidity involved rests right behind this keyboard.

Captain Z did not try to dispose of that IED by picking it up and dropping it in the nearby canal. Instead, it seems that it blew up while they were looking for it and the explosion knocked him into that canal. At least I seem to have gotten the part about the raw courage of his XO jumping in after him while weighed down with all that stuff.

I make no excuse. Working through very sketchy information I filtered that info through the faulty prism of a war long ago and far away. That information, filtered through that prism, formed a picture in my mind's eye of what happened that was totally wrong. Worse, I based my post on that wrong picture. I should have known better. Indeed I do know better, most of the profanity I use in my daily life comes directly from reading and hearing descriptions of events filtered through such faulty prisms.

One thing I want to stress, though, is that if the situation had demanded trying to carry a live bomb to a place where it's explosion would have been relatively harmless, doing so would not have been stupid. Incredibly dangerous, yes, stupid, no. I remember such situations. One such was a satchel charge, with the fuse going, that landed inside a TOC bunker during a long and particularly hairy night some thirty-eight years ago. A young radioman was badly wounded getting it out of the bunker, saving everyone inside.

The bottom line? I screwed the pooch. I could go on with why but it would really only be lame excuses. The last point I want to make is that no semi sentinant being, even me, can read Cap'n Z's blog and see any trace of stupidity. Instead we see a bright young family man who follows the profession of arms and does so in the highest traditions of that profession.

I hope everyone involved will accept my profound apologies.

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