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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.

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