--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Stanley" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > > http://tinyurl.com/n73rh > > Great article on Salon.com by Anthony Bourdain, who had just arrived > in Beirut to tape a show.
There's much to break the heart in that piece, but this is the part that really got me. He's describing his and his crew's evacuation from Beirut: ...We are put in the charge of the sailors and Marines of the USS Nashville who've hauled ass from Jordan on short notice to undertake a mission for which they are unrehearsed and inexperienced. Yet they perform brilliantly. The moment we pass through the last checkpoint into their control, all are treated with a kindness and humanity we can scarcely believe. Squared away, efficient, organized and caringly sensitive, the Marines break the crowd into sensibly spaced groups, give them shade and water, lead them single file to an open-ended landing craft at the water's edge. They carry babies, children, heat- stroke victims, luggage. They are soft-spoken, casually friendly. They give out treats and fruit and water. They reassure us with their ease and professionalism. On the flight deck of the USS Nashville they've set up a refugee camp. I wake up on my folding cot and look around. With every group of traumatized evacuees -- with every family, every group of children, there's a Marine or two, chatting, exchanging stories, listening. They open their ship to us. They look so young. All of them. None looks over 17. "Where you from?" one asks me. I say, "New York" -- and he tells me, "I ain't ever been there. I'd like to." His friends agree. They've never seen New York either. The mess serves tuna noodle casserole and mac and cheese and corn dogs. A sailor or Marine in a bright green dragon suit entertains children. We are kept informed. We are reassured. We are spoken to like adults. On the smoking deck, a Marine shows off a Reuter's cover photo -- taken only a few hours earlier -- of himself, nuzzling two babies as he carries them through the surf to the landing craft. His buddies are razzing him, busting his balls for how intolerably big- headed he's going to be -- now that he's "famous." He looks at the picture and says, "You don't know what it felt like, man." His eyes well up. There was a story on NBC News the other night to somewhat the same effect, about U.S. troops taking care of the refugees. One Navy lieutenant said, "It's awesome. I've been in the Navy 20 years, a little over 20, and this is about the highlight of it. This is just awesome, to make a real difference in people's lives." It's surely not just U.S. soldiers who have this response to the opportunity to help people rather than kill them. What a perfectly ghastly waste, in so many ways. To subscribe, send a message to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Or go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ and click 'Join This Group!' Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FairfieldLife/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/