How to save a life: the citizens of Samaria

Somewhere, a few thousand feet beneath the waves of the South China Sea, there are a dozen or two helicopters. If an expedition came across them, they might believe that there was some great battle that had been fought in those waters. Perhaps they would see the emblem on the helicopters—a blue circle with a white star and red stripes— and wonder, "did America suffer some catastrophic loss here?" But if they looked closer, they might notice something else. Something unexpected. The choppers would be undamaged, save for that done by time and water and salt. The expedition would find no torn metal, no broken landing gear, no rotors destroyed. They might believe that, as incredible as it seems, the Americans intentionally scuttled their own equipment. But, for what possible purpose would a military force destroy their own equipment? Faced with such a question, perhaps they might remember the words of G. K. Chesterton, who once opined, "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." Only, in this case, April 29, 1975, what they loved was above them.

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