iOS app Android app More
October 1, 2014

Paratroopers and Politicians

There has always been a vast gulf between those who practice politics and those who practice war. Part of that divide is defined by who's doing hands-dirty, grueling, up-all-night work. Paratroopers were training hard, living in the dirt, getting four hours of sleep a night if they were lucky. Congress was at home. And occasionally engaging in the kind of personal nastiness that wouldn't be tolerated in an airborne platoon. I thought about that as I squatted down in the Louisiana woods to talk with Cvikota. Four days after his jump, he was standing chest-deep in a fighting position with his weapon aimed at the woodline, taking his turn on guard duty after having worked all night as the battalion's battle captain.



More Healthy Living
Desk Decoration.. Flying Trapeze Workout.. Sleep & Your Brain.. Hormones.. Slow Down.. Relays

Ginsburg Was Right On Hobby Lobby

The Washington Post via Getty Images

More Politics
Ryan Won't Run If.. Mayor Killed.. Secret Service Fumble.. Governor Slacking.. Security Solution..

U.S. Admits Rules To Prevent Civilian Deaths Don't Apply To ISIS Airstrikes

Airstrike Civilian Syria
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

'It's Not Worth It To Become A Teacher At This Point,' Veteran Educator Says

Robert Daly via Getty Images

The Best And Worst States For Teachers

Royals Rally Twice For Walk-Off Win

Kansas City Royals

More Sports
Back To The Future.. Tom Brady Done?.. Belichick Laughs.. Fluke.. 'The Catch'.. Jeter Flipbook

Fastest Growing Demographic In U.S. Rarely Mentioned On Sunday Shows

Meet The Press Nbc
NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

More Media
AWESOME Clooney Headline.. Savannah's Big Surprise.. Sad Ben Bradlee News.. UGH NY Post

New Data Finds Brain Disease In 76 Of 79 Deceased NFL Players

Nfl Concussion
Helen H. Richardson via Getty Images

Trooper Shot Dead During Gun Training Exercise

Police Car Lights
Alex_Schmidt via Getty Images

Hong Kong Protests Near Potential Flashpoint

Hong Kong Protests Police
XAUME OLLEROS via Getty Images

Crowds Swell To Highest Level Yet

Off-Duty Secret Service Agent Stopped Latest White House Intruder

White House Fence
Mark Wilson via Getty Images

New Director In The Hot Seat

Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Save 3,500 Lives Per Year

Ozone Pollution Us
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tracy Morgan: 'I Can't Believe Walmart Is Blaming Me'

Tracy Morgan
Bennett Raglin/BET via Getty Images

More Business
Fed Fears Goldman.. Big Pharma Pays Billions.. Amazon <3 Paul Ryan?.. Who Failed Lehman Bros.

California Mayor Shot Dead At His Home

Crime Scene
Siede Preis via Getty Images

Kurds Claim Key Border Crossing After Fierce Battles With ISIS

Kurds Isis
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

More WorldPost
Umbrella Protest.. A Different Side.. Save The Humans.. Bibi Goes All Out.. New Afghan Prez.. ISIS $

REPORT: Humans Wiped Out Half Of Wildlife Population In 40 Years


FCC Considering Move To Ban Washington Redskins Name

Redskins Helmet
TJ Root via Getty Images

Landmark California Law Allows Families To Seek Gun Restraining Order

California Shooting College

Big Pharma's Money Ties To Doctors Exposed

Doctors Kickbacks
Reza Estakhrian via Getty Images

Doctors, Hospitals Raking In Billions

The Nation's First Statewide Plastic Bag Ban Is Here

Plastic Bag Ban

GOP Senate Candidate In Hot Water Over Campaign Filing

Dan Sullivan

Phelps: 'I Understand The Severity Of My Actions'

Michael Phelps
ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Mitt Romney Fans Speculation Over Another White House Run

Mitt Romney

EU Takes Aim At Apple About Allegedly Illegal Tax Breaks

Apple Ireland
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reza Aslan Slams Bill Maher For Islam Comments


Don't Worry, What We're Doing In The Middle East Is Totally Not 'War'


Oklahoma Man Charged With Murder 'Infatuated With Beheadings'

Alton Nolen

Stephen Colbert Is Driving Bill O'Reilly Ballistic

Colbert Oreilly

Black Voters' Disenchantment Could Be Trouble For Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Black Voters
Bloomberg via Getty Images

More Black Voices
Ferguson Update.. 'Intervention' Parody.. Tracy Morgan Responds.. Olivia Pope Pranked

REPORT: Iraqi Air Force Accidently Delivers Supplies To ISIS

Islamic State

Police On Eric Frein Manhunt Find Pipe Bombs In Woods


Mecca On Alert As Hajj Begins

Isis Hajj Mecca
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

NFL Backtracks After Muslim Player Penalized For Prayer

Husain Abdullah

The Fracking Boom's Hidden Threat

Silica Sand Wisconsin
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ebay To Break Up With PayPal

Matt Cardy via Getty Images

Body Of Missing Real Estate Agent Found In Shallow Grave

Beverly Carter
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

9 Biggest Myths About ISIS Debunked

Islamic State Verified

Paul Ryan: I Won't Run In 2016 If Romney Does

Paul Ryan Mitt Romney
EMMANUEL DUNAND via Getty Images

For-Profit Prison Bankers Prey On Inmates' Families With Exorbitant Fees

Photo 1
Eleanor Bell/Center for Public Integrity

GOP Senate Candidate Claims A Bill He Cosponsored Doesn't Exist

Bill Clark via Getty Images

WTF, Economist?!

Narendra Modi
DON EMMERT via Getty Images

Unarmed Grandfather Allegedly Killed By Cop In His Own Driveway

Ernest Satterwhite
Columbia County/AP

More Crime
Mafia Sons.. Beheading.. Copter Trouble.. 'I Don't Feel Safe'.. Roof Chase.. 'Diaper Sniper'.. Ferguson

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    1. HuffPost
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. View all RSS feeds

George And Amal's Wedding Photos Are Breathtaking, As Expected


More Celebrity
Ben Hates 'Frozen'?.. Rob's GF Bullied.. Stevie's Confession.. Lovely, Reese!.. Miley's Shower Photo

This Hidden Thread Could Link Every Marvel Comics Film

The Avengers Special Effects

More HuffPost Live
Gabrielle Giffords' Husband Speaks Out.. Stylish Seniors.. TV's Race Problem.. Moms' Paid Leave


Barcroft Media via YouTube

More Green
Forest Threat.. California Drought.. Surfer Victory.. Lava Limbo.. Pit Bull Discrimination.. Falcon Surgery

Why She Really Left 'The Biggest Loser'

Jillian Michaels
Rachel Murray via Getty Images

More TV
Outlander Scoop.. What's On Netflix In October.. #TGIT Kills.. Family Guy & Simpsons Crossover News

How Taking Nude Photos Helped Me Get Over My Body Issues

Nude Fine Art Photos
Beth Sanders

More Women
20-Something Truth.. T-Swift & Emma Watson.. Best Vloggers.. Costume Ideas.. Preach, Gloria Steinem

Flight Delayed After Religious Men Refuse To Sit Next To Women

Orthodox Plane
Amit Ben Natan /

More Religion
Women Ordained.. Navratri 2014.. Muslims vs. ISIS.. Left Behind Bible.. Jimmy Carter On Jesus..

LOOK: These Photos Show How Beautiful The World Can Be

Hong Kong
Daniel Kudish

Firefighters Save Baby Hamsters With Teeny 'Oxygen Masks'

Baby Hamster Oxygen
Twitter / LaceyFireDist3

More Good News
Taylor Swift's Sweet Gesture.. Chihuahua Chasing Bubbles.. Dogs Eating Peanut Butter.. AWW

These 'Human Flesh Burgers' Probably Do Taste Like Human

Human Flesh

More Weird
2-Headed Turtle.. Drunken Moose.. Hoarder Mailman?.. Cat Honk.. Bodybuilding Christian Swingers

The Best New Movie You Haven't Heard About

Jk Simmons
Sony Pictures Classics

More Entertainment
'Taken 3' Is Real.. Kim Kardashian's Secret.. 'Whiplash' Is Terrifying.. New Pharrell.. More 'Curb'?

App Can Tell When Students Are Stressed Out

College Stress
101dalmatians via Getty Images

Felicity Huffman And William H. Macy Went Years Without Doing This In Bed

Felicity Huffman William H Macy
Albert L. Ortega via Getty Images

15 Times The World's iPhone Obsession Went Too Far

Iphone Obsession
Bloomberg via Getty Images

More Tech
Apple Faces Crisis.. Fried Chicken iPhone?.. Exploit eBay.. 'Bendgate' Overblown?.. Amazon Cage

Jeff Goldblum, Like You've Never Seen Him Before

Jeff Goldblum Ge Ad

Injured Dog Wouldn't Leave Her Pups, But Rescuers Didn't Give Up On Her

The Dog Rescuers
Facebook / The Dog Rescuers

21 Hacks To Make You Feel Like A True New Yorker

Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images

More Travel
Flight Booking 101.. Why We ♥ Hotel Beds.. Taormina.. NYC From Above.. Phone Hacks.. Caribbean Deals

There's Still Hope For A New Season Of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

WATCH: The 2-Minute Stretch All Desk Workers Should Do Before Bed

Jill Miller Yoga Hip Stretch

More OWN
The Best Grilled Cheese.. New Ways To Get Fit.. 'I Gave Up Sex'.. No. 1 Skincare Product.. Father of 34

Here's Another Reason To Love Uber

Uber New York
Bloomberg via Getty Images

More Impact
Chicago To End Vet Homelessness.. App Combats Inequality.. Bey, Jay-Z Fight Poverty

Doctor's Letter To Dairy Queen Owner Moves Former Boss To Tears

Letter To Yvonne
Yvonne Koccoris Lavasidis

19 Cult Food Destinations Worth Enduring Massive Lines

Shake Shack
Andrew Burton via Getty Images

More Taste
Fig Recipes.. Spreadable Beer.. Savory Cupcakes .. Chef's Secret Ingredients.. Olive Garden's Pasta Pass

Watching This Giant Leech Swallow A Worm Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Bill Murray Caddyshack

More Science
Hawking On God.. Nano Breakthrough.. Whale's Tusk.. Scientist Stuck In Cave.. 'Traffic Light' On Mars

Superhero Therapy Dog Dares You To Discriminate Against Pit Bulls

Valerie Bruder Photography

You Won't Believe What Archaeologists Found Inside A Mummy's Skull

Mummy Skull

He's Not Scary, He's A Little Boy

Aliceann Meyer
AliceAnn Meyer

More Parents
5-Year-Old's Pep Talk.. This Is Pediatric Cancer.. Third Child?.. 4 Pregnancy Promises.. More Lunch Art

You've Been Organizing Your Fridge All Wrong


Stevie Nicks' Polaroid Selfies Prove She Is The Angel Of All Our Dreams


More Arts
Sagrada Familia News.. Modern Architectural Landmarks.. When Bacteria Meets Photography

These Potato Chips Are Lying To You

Kettle Chips Healthy
Kheng ho Toh via Getty Images

The 6 Most Haunted Places In America

The Transallegheny Lunatic Asylum
EVA HAMBACH via Getty Images

More Books
YA Books.. Crazy Fast Reads.. Civil War Women.. Fictional Serial Killers.. R.L. Stine.. GoT Quiz

Your Coffee Maker Might Be Full Of Mold. Here's How To Clean It

Michael Sick via Getty Images

More HuffPost Home
Antiquing Trips.. Food Network Homes.. Hidden Houses Best Pumpkin Candles.. Cool Lighting

It's Over

Gina And Pat Neely
Gilbert Carrasquillo via Getty Images

Jessa Duggar Compared Abortion To The Holocaust

Jessa Duggar Holocaust Abortion

We Didn't Know It Was Possible To Write A Love Letter This Nerdy

Love Letter

More Divorce
Big Marriage Mistake.. Too Honest During Sex.. Underrated Single Perks.. Open Letter To Ex Wife