OVER THE YEARS, I have had a few mixed feelings about the Marine Corps. It is not easy for me to defend them, yet in a curious way I suppose I respect the Marine Corps more than the Army. Discounting the overdeveloped and often nauseating public relations of the Marines, and the professional braggadocio which makes them our institutional equivalent of Texans-on-a-tear, one can still hardly pride oneself at knowing much about life if one tries to deny that the Marines have been probably our best combat soldiers, and that they have a high number of courageous men in their ranks.
Of course, our generation of sensitive people has begun to deny the proper existence of such virtues as courage, and I would declare this to be one of the abuses of psychoanalysis. Years ago I remember a psychology student telling me that the platoon sergeant in The Naked and the Dead, Sam Croft, had exhibited an infantile fixation toward the maternal breast in his compulsion to climb a mountai...
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