Apple and Angie’s List Play Politics

I’m not a politician so there’s no political agenda in this look at the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In fact, I’m having a hard time understanding all the furor over it…especially from Democrats. President Obama himself backed the bill when he was an Illinois State Senator although he now opposes it. Senator Chuck Schumer introduced the Federal version of the bill on March 11, 1993 although he now opposes it.  It’s kind of difficult to not see politics as a factor in all the hoopla since Illinois enacted it over the weekend. Especially when 20 other states previously had the law in effect.

duhNo, I’m not a politician but I am a lawyer so let me try and set things straight.

The RFRA will not allow neighbors to discriminate against neighbors or gays refused service at restaurants. What it will allow is something akin to allowing a Quaker to set forth his religion as a bar to his being drafted because his religion, which is his fundamental First Amendment Right, would be impinged upon by making him do something that is nowt permitted within that religion.

So, while the RFRA will not permit the owner of a bakery to refuse to sell a dozen doughnuts or a pie to a gay person because they are gay¸ it will allow that baker, if a practicing Christian, Catholic, Orthodox Jew or Muslim, to raise as a defense the RFRA in refusing to make the wedding cake for a gay couple because it violates a fundamental right and impinges upon that right.

The test for infringing upon a fundamental right is what is known as “the compelling state interest” test. This means that if government (say for example in a discrimination case brought by the gay couple) seeks to infringe upon what is a First Amendment fundamental right it must show a compelling state interest that outweighs the fundamental right. Since the gay couple could easily have their wedding cake made elsewhere but the barker could not dismiss his religious practice nor should he have to, the RFRA would prevail. It’s a balancing test that must be applied in every individual case in which the RFRA is brought as a defense.

I suggest before the CEO of Apple, Angie’s List or any other person goes off half-cocked that they read the First Amendment, the RFRA, the compelling state interest test and then decide if their politics isn’t outweighing their intelligence.

There’s a personal test they should take.



Safeguarding Depression

Yesterday I posted my opinion regarding the issue of medications, in particular anti-depressants, as they relate to attempted suicide. I did so in the context of the recent and apparently intentional crash of the Germanwings jetliner. There is more that needs to be said about depression, a condition from which the co-pilot of that jetliner suffered.

SafeguardingIt is now known that in 2009 the co-pilot was suspended for 18 months from proceeding with obtaining his pilot’s license. In particular, he was suspended due to a diagnosis of “depressive episode.” It is my opinion that this fact alone should have prohibited Lufthansa, or any other commercial airline, from subsequently employing him as a pilot.

I have suffered from depression as far back as I can remember. It led to an attempted suicide at age 24. Following the attempt, I spent decades getting at the root, or as close to the root as possible, of why I experience depression. It became clear to me during that process that the “why” was not nearly as important as learning how to manage it when it occurs. I can go for months or years without experiencing depression and then, suddenly, under the right confluence of circumstances, there it is. Fortunately, through both behavioral and faith-based methods, I have learned how to recognize its onset and take steps to mitigate its effect.

Depression can be immobilizing or it can lead to destructive action. The destructive action can be turned either inward or outward, depending upon the individual personality, and egoic needs, of the one experiencing the depression. In my case, I turned it inward. I was willing to physically harm myself but not willing to physically hurt someone else in the process, which is why my attempt was with an overdose of medications. However, if someone has illusions of fame and is willing to hurt not only themselves but others as well (as did the  co-pilot in this tragedy) it can take the form of the Germanwings disaster.

Depression has something in common with alcoholism: it is never cured, only arrested. Once subject to depression, one is always subject to it under the right circumstances. Which is why no commercial airline should be permitted to employ a pilot who has ever experienced a depressive episode.

There is much understood, and much not yet understood, about mental illness. The subject is still one of the last taboos within our culture. But the fear of confronting and exposing the realities of the subject prevents us from identifying the safeguards we could otherwise employ to protect not only those who experience depression but also the innocents who find themselves in the path of those who do.


A Lesson From The Germanwings Disaster

The more I read about the apparent mental state of the co-pilot who allegedly committed a murder/suicide in crashing the Germanwings jetliner, the more I think about my own attempted suicide at age 24. My attempt followed the break-up of my 11 month marriage and the cessation of anti-depressants that had been prescribed for me. Statistically there is much evidence that anti-depressants, particularly when stopped, can lead to suicide ideation and actual attempts.

SuicideIt also has me thinking again about an interview I did on radio following the death of actor Heath Ledger. In that interview I spoke to the propensity of our culture (and let’s not leave out Western culture generally) to over-medicate everything from the slightest pain to the common cold to any and all behavioral disorders. Witness the amount of children in this country medicated for ADD, ADHD, and Autism. I’m not saying illness and disease never need medication. What I am saying is that it should be the path of last resort…not of the first.

When my daughter, who is adopted, first arrived from China she was two years old. Shortly thereafter, she began to display some behavioral problems. Knowing that adopted children can have unique challenges, especially when deprived of nutrition in the first few critical years of brain and bone development, my ex-husband and I had her tested. The results came back that she was mildly ADD and had some mild attachment (bonding) issues as well. The therapist who delivered this news to us suggested medication along with therapeutic methods tailored to her issues. I agreed to the therapy and rejected the meds. Further, once in grade school, I refused to notify her school of the diagnosis. I knew learning would be a challenge for her, but I had made up my mind that no labels were going to be attached to her that would mark her, possible for life, via her academic file.

Refusing to medicate required years of difficulty in raising her. There definitely were behavioral issues that exhausted all three of us…with the exhaustion emphasis on my ex-husband and me. Refusing to label her meant that I proceeded in custom tailoring how I communicated with her, how I helped her learn and how I explained her learning style to her teachers. In fact, it was over a decade, day in and day out, that her needs required extraordinary patience and commitment to my decision. The payoff was worth all the time and effort. She became a straight “A” student. Today, she is a remarkable 22 year old who is the level-headed “go to” person among her peers. She also has the best ethical and moral compass a parent could want.

Choosing to medicate, sedate, narcotize, or suppress is always the easiest route. It is, however, much less than satisfying, and certainly not without its downsides for either the patients or those who love and care for them.

With his long history of mental illness and medical treatment, I will not be surprised if the co-pilot of Germanwings was either on, or recently off, anti-depressants. In our addiction to the speed at which technology catapults us into the future, few if any can really keep up. Everything about it is unnatural. Both our hearts and our minds operate at a much slower pace. It’s why so many people think about getting off the internet but don’t. We have become enslaved and don’t even realize it.

I’m not blaming the internet for the crash of the Germanwings flight. I am, however, shining a bright light on how, in our efforts to fit in or keep up with unnatural and unhealthy conditions, we fail to see the harm in turning to drugs, legal or illegal, to get us through.


A Culture Adrift With Tattoos and Pagans

I was on a major highway in Texas today on my way to a luncheon date when a large, black SUV pulled alongside my car. As I glanced over at the driver, all I caught a glimpse of was a large arm draped across the steering wheel boldly tattooed from end to end. I didn’t give it much thought until midway through lunch. That’s when my lunch date told me he had been married three times.

IdolI am single and this was a date. The man met me at a speaking engagement I presented and asked me for my number. He called a few days later and asked me to lunch. So after he said he’d been married three times, being a single woman and a divorce lawyer, I asked the obvious question: “And you’re divorced now?” “Well no” he stammered, “I didn’t have to actually get divorced this last time; we were together 12 years but we had a pagan wedding ceremony so….”.

You know the famous line from Jerry Maguire when Renee Zellweger’s character looks at Tom Cruise and says, “You had me at hello”? Well, it was just like that moment in the movie except in my head I heard “You lost me at pagan.”

Since midday, I’ve been thinking about tattoos and pagans. Mostly I’ve been thinking about what happens to us when we disconnect from all that is good and divine within us. In its simplest form, the body is a container that houses the Soul. But if the Soul, that unique essence of us if you will, is something mysterious and precious… what is the likelihood that its Creator designed it to be kept in a defaced container? Would you keep a rare and priceless gemstone in a trash can?

Isn’t that what tattooing the body really is? Defacing the container?

I’ve heard the argument that “its art” but my reply has always been “that’s why we have canvases.” And when I’ve heard “Well, my body is the canvas” I have thought “No, you’re confused. Your body is the temple into which The Creator placed that aspect of Divinity that is You. Your confusion is the result of a disconnect from that Source. Disconnected, you turn outside yourself to find meaning. In that error, you conflate the material and the spiritual.”

I had a close friend once who judged his worth by how much money he amassed. He had trouble feeling pleasure and joy but loved to test the limits of pain. He also had a God-given gift for painting. Not a single lesson…just a gift he refused to pursue. For several years we parted and when our paths crossed once again the thing he was most proud of was the electric blue, pink and green seascape tattooed from his shoulder to his wrist. He had repeatedly tested the limits of pain and allowed someone else to turn his body into the canvases he never took up.

Looking at his arm, I remembered one of the early conversations I had with him when we first met. He told me he didn’t believe in God, only himself. And so money became his God and his temple became someone else’s canvas.

We live in a culture where so many, particularly the young, are lost and searching. But when you disconnect from the Source of All That Is you’re left with a void and a lot of confusion… which too often has left too many relinquishing their gifts, desecrating their temple and worshiping at the feet of external illusion.

I suspect it’s also left some others with pagan wedding ceremonies.


Carole Gold

The Throw Away Culture

Better to throw it away.

throw_away_society__popa_matumulaThe camera cost me $300 dollars, but just for the dealer to inspect it to determine what the problem was would run $99.00 plus another few hundred dollars to repair it. Given the economics; the repairmen said it was better for us to just buy a new camera. When I told my wife she was flabbergasted. She packed up the camera and mailed it to her father in Ecuador. She said, “In Ecuador this will cost $5.00 to fix and it will last a lifetime.”

Sure enough, whenever I go down to see our family in Ecuador, that camera is like the “Eveready battery bunny”…still going 10 years later.

My father was a farmer and quite good with his hands. He passed a lot of his skills on to me and, in some ways, I am quite handy. But compared to my wife I’m a novice in the mechanical sphere! Over the life of our marriage, she has saved us thousands of dollars in repairs as well as gotten us out of quite a few jams.

When we were first married, I owned a really old Honda that was good for getting us from point “A” to point “B” but that was about it. One night we ended up in a small town outside of Sydney, Australia in the middle of winter. It was late and the whole town was shut down. When we went to drive off, the car wouldn’t start. The battery had gone dead. It was literally freezing and, with the car unable to warm up, I was seriously concerned about how we would survive the night.

I tried a variety of things to get the car to start but nothing worked until my wife took over. She removed the battery, sanded down the connections with a screwdriver, slapped the battery and the cables together to generate a spark then placed the cables back on the battery. Voila! The car started.  As my wife would later explain, when you live in a country like Ecuador where there are no replacement parts and no new parts are going to arrive, you figure out ways to get your car moving.

Here was the difference. She had grown up in a society that valued everything. She learned how to make things last.  While I was good with my hands… she was exceptional. My wife was born into a third world country where things had to last. My father, who was born right after the generation that lived through the  depression, was forced to value everything.  Both of them reached a level of proficiency with their mechanical agility that I would never attain. They were good with making things last because their lives depended on it…literally.

The “throw it away society” was a term coined in the 1950’s about a society that is focused on consumerism and consumption so that it discards anything old.  Recently Pope Francis made the same point when addressing the issue of abortion. The Catholic Church considers abortion an intrinsic evil. He stated that “in a throwaway culture, even human lives are seen as disposable.”

It seems strangely odd how throwing away a camera and disposable goods can lead to throwing away life itself.  But its a slippery and insidious slope.  We do live in a throw-away society where everything is tossed aside when no longer needed. The tragedy is that at some point our habit and comfort with discarding the unwanted makes us blind to the value of life itself.

Our kids grow up in a hook-up culture where transaction (sex) is valued and relationship (intimacy) is not. The divorce rate remains persistently high (50% by most estimates) and the term “friends with benefits” means friends offer us sex with no strings attached. However, when people are valued through marriage vows and real friendship, it gives a greater sense of meaning and purpose to life.

I’ve heard it summed up no better than… “The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.” Perhaps this is one instance where its better to be a pig.

Steve Clark

Playing The Game With Iran

One of my favorite brain games is “What’s wrong with this picture?” You know…the one where you’re given two seemingly matching photos but you have to find the nuanced differences between them. I enjoy finding those differences no matter how well hidden they are. It would be no challenge, and certainly no fun, if the differences were obvious and instantly recognizable. You know…like those between what the Iranians say in English and what they say in Arabic. Or what President Obama and Secretary Kerry tell us about a nuclear deal with Iran and what Benjamin Netanyahu has warned will happen as a result of such a deal.

PictureIranian President Hassan Rohani states, for the benefit of the Western press, that “achieving a deal is possible” while  the spiritual leader of the country, Sharia committed Ayatollah Khamenei, simultaneously whips an Iranian crowd into chanting “Death to America.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

President Obama calls this moment of negotiation with Iran an “historic opportunity” while Secretary Kerry assures us that the talks in Lucerne, Switzerland have made “substantial progress” with “… an opportunity to get this right.” These platitudes contrast with a truly historic opportunity to face the reality as laid out by Prime Minister Netanyahu recently in his speech before a joint session of Congress:

“To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime. In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow. So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.”

So, again, what’s wrong with this picture?

These two pictures are unlike the game I so like to play. There is no nuance here. There is no attempt to obscure the reality. The difference between these two pictures is, as we say in law, prima facie clear. The first is an attempt to obscure the reality by putting forth a pollyanna-esque scenario that has little to do with the facts. The second is a realistic assertion (Khamenei) and warning (Natanyahu) of what is on the horizon if we cut a deal with a country whose Sharia-based leadership has authority (Taqiyya) to lie for the advancement of Islam.

Take heart. You don’t have to be an expert to win this one. Even a novice can get it right.

What’s wrong with the picture being painted by Rohani, Obama and Kerry? Absolutely everything…for those of us with eyes to see.

A Weed Called The Muslim Brotherhood

If you’ve ever grown flowers or vegetables, you know the importance of the quality of the seed. Which is probably the basis for the saying “You reap what you sow.” It’s also why its so vital that ever American knows who Hassan al-Banna was. Founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Banna was a charismatic Egyptian reformer who taught that the ills of the world had two causes: Western culture and the Jews. He  preached that both of these are particularly destructive to Muslim culture and way of life.

WEEDAl-Hassan’s Muslim Brotherhood is the seed level of global jihad. It has spawned both al Queda and Hamas to name just two of the many radical Islamic terror organizations.  Its philosophical underpinnings and goals are in lock step with those of ISIS. Shining a light on both the Brotherhood’s origin and intention is key to understanding why it is so dangerous that the Obama Administration has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood both at home and abroad.

Who cannot recall President Obama’s public support of Mohammed Morsi following the “Arab Spring?” Morsi was the Obama Administration’s pick for President of Egypt following the take-down of Hosni Mubarak. Yet, Morsi was rejected by the Egyptian people and removed by the Egyptian military as a front man for the Muslim Brotherhood, now designated by the Egyptian government as a terror organization.

Contrast Egypt’s approach, the birthplace of the Brotherhood, with that of the Obama Administration. The Administration refuses to list the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. This despite the fact that in 2011, then FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group whose ideology has inspired terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, are in the United States and have supported terrorism here and overseas.” Further, both Western and Egyptian media have outed the connections between Obama Administration insiders and the Muslim Brotherhood, naming with specificity who these individuals are that currently hold positions within the highest levels of our government. Most recently, President Obama held a closed-door meeting at The White House with 14 Muslim leaders. It was closed for a reason. Among its attendees were known Islamic jihad sympathizers, specifically Imam Mohamed Magid, Azhar Azeez, Sherman Jackson, and Hoda Hawa.

Leading up to and even during World War II, the nations around the world turned a blind eye towards both Hitler’s stated intentions and the German military’s actions in support of furthering those intentions. They did so until Winston Churchill had the courage to speak and stand for the undeniable. Recently, Benjamin Netanyahu did the same. He took to the world stage and stood for the undeniable about radical Islam.

While the Obama Administration continues to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood and appease the Iranians while opposing and undermining Israel’s best interest, the question we are left with is this:  What will each of us do with our God-given right to liberty and our easy access to technology that spans the globe in seconds to speak truth to power?  As Deitrich Bonhoeffer, German Pastor and spy against Hitler’s Nazi regime warned : “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

There is no plausible deniability left to us now.

What We Think We Know

I read the book the “Snowball” a few years ago about the life of Warren Buffet. It was a great read with plenty of detail about Buffet’s upbringing, education, and evolution of his life as an investor. As most people consider him the most successful investor of our generation, it was enlightening to read his story.

shedOne of Buffet’s main principles of investing is making sure that those who operate the company have the highest integrity. Buffet has recalled, “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”

What people don’t know about Buffet was that he and first wife had an “open marriage.” He actually lived with his mistress while his wife was alive.  Having been in finance for many years, this revelation about Buffet’s morality and values in his personal life was eye opening to me. I, like others, considered him a highly principled person.  He’s in the news every day and his reach and influence in the world of finance cannot be overstated. Yet, the media fails to ever mention this curious fact.

Former President Clinton was impeached and disbarred for his actions while President. He too remains a darling of a Press who, as with Buffet, barely if ever mentions Clinton’s immorality and lack of ethics that impacted this nation for years. Not to mention the amount of people who were involved with Bill and Hillary Clinton who have died. (there are 90 suspicious deaths associated with the Clintons).  Let that number slink in for a second. You would think that the media would have some interest in reporting this yet they remain silent.

This is not about politics.  It is, however, about the media’s role in reporting the news and keeping the public sufficiently informed in order that we be able to make knowledgeable decisions. Why does the media treat the us as children… deciding what to selectively report rather than simply to report?

Dan Rather was fired for fabricating a story about George W. Bush and his military service. But the press aren’t the only perpetrators here when fabricating events. President Johnson actually lied about an attack on American interests in Vietnam aptly named, The Gulf of Tonkin incident which lead to the U.S getting involved in Vietnam.

This misreporting and dis-reporting isn’t limited to the media. Its in our school as well.

Last week my daughter had a homework assignment regarding the McCarthy hearings. She told me the teacher’s conclusion was that Joseph McCarthy had abused his power when investigating Communist sympathizers. I responded by telling her about the Verona Files released by the Russian government. These files proved what McCarthy had alleged. My daughter looked at me in disbelief. She had not heard that side of the story which happens to be the historically complete and accurate ending to the story.

As human beings we all have predispositions. We have opinions that we believe are facts. We have a world view that we believe is correct. I can’t even tell you how many things that I once believed that are no longer true. Yet I believe, for most people, it is easier to live inside that bubble than to question existing opinions and beliefs thereby challenging ourselves to grow.

Six months ago I ran into an old college friend.  She knew I worked in finance and asked me how I thought some of the Obama Administration policies would impact the economy. About half way through my response, she put her hand to my face in order to “shush me.”  She said she did not want to hear it as she was :not prepared to handle the truth. For her, it was better to live in an illusion than challenge her world view. This is the great paradox of life. The only way to learn, grow and expand is to shed our preconceptions.

Shedding of the old. Maybe that snake in the Garden of Eden had another really important message that has gone under reported as well.

Bibi’s Courage of His Convictions

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and I went to the same high school. No, not in Israel but in a suburb of Philadelphia called Cheltenham. We were not in the same grade (he is older than I am) but we are close enough in age that I take a certain amount of perhaps unjustified pride whenever I share that piece of common history.

PrinciplesI have a much more personal connection to the newly re-elected Prime Minister. My daughter is 22 years old and currently serving in his military, the Israeli Defense Forces, as a Lone Soldier. Lone soldiers are out of country volunteers with no in-country family who elect to give up 2-3 years of their lives to defend the State of Israel. In my daughter’s case its 3 years as she chose to enlist in a Search and Rescue combat unit. This has also made her a dual citizen.

Given the fact that I am a Jew, have a high school connection with Bibi, and a daughter serving in the IDF, you might conclude that I have an interest in what happens in, and to, Israel. While it is true, I do have an interest, I have something much more important upon which that interest rests. I have principles. The principles upon which my interest in Israel rests are a right to life and a right to self-determination.

Every human being is born with a right to life. That is given us by our Creator and by the very fact of our creation. And while each individual must struggle to make their way in the world, no other individual or group has the right to interfere with that individual’s right to life. Whether memorialized in the U.S. Constitution or not, this inalienable, divinely given right to life is inherent to every living thing. And so the Jews of Israel have a right to life despite the fact that history records endless efforts to annihilate them and, currently, their sworn Arab enemies boast “we love death more than the Jews love life.”

Further, every human being, and every nation, has a right to self-determination. This means that outside forces have no right to force a person, or a nation, to proceed in any given situation in any way other than their own personal, or collective, intent would have them proceed. Therefore, neither President Obama nor the Ayatollah Khomeini nor ISIS nor Islamists have a right to influence…and certainly not determine…the political, economic, or cultural future of Israel and/or its citizens.

There have been many nights over the past 14 months when concern for the well-being of my daughter precluded my getting much in the way of sleep. However, I have never wavered from the deep knowing that she too, is proceeding on a principle. Her principle is that when you believe in something there may be times when you are called upon to act in support of it. She believes in the right of the State of Israel and the Jewish People to life and self-determination. And so she is acting upon that belief.

I am certain Bibi Netanyahu believes the same thing…as he has spent most of his life acting upon it. I am deeply proud of both of them. I know the State of Israel and its future is more secure tonight because of the remarkable courage of their convictions.

Death By Accident

His body was blown to bits.

warThe Marine had been on top of the armored vehicle. At the moment he was handing down his equipment to his Lieutenant, one of the grenades got caught on a clip and detonated. Seconds later the Marine’s life was over and the surviving Lieutenant’s life forever changed by the accident.


Although the Lieutenant suffered minor injuries the scars of that accident, which included feeling partially responsible for the death, would stay with him forever. It seemed the Lieutenant had failed to correctly  secure his gear.

The dead Marine had survived months in the desert during Desert Shield as well as the attack on Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. He was merely months away from discharge and had plans to become a minister. As one of the more popular Marines in his unit, his peers were left seething at the Lieutenant’s negligence.

I heard later that the fallen marine’s parents could not get beyond the circumstances surrounding their son’s death. They were prepared to live with the fact that their son might die gloriously on the battlefield ins service to his country, but not by the random grenade of a fellow Marine’s negligence.

At the time, I could only imagine how those parents must have suffered from the tragedy of that random, senseless accident. I was 23 when it happened. Single with no children.  With no perspective or personal experience, I had no idea what would have gone through their minds and hearts.

Today I have six kids, two of which are teenage daughters. I can finally relate to those parents and how they must have felt upon hearing how their son had died. When I look at my daughters, I see them through the totality of their lives thus far: as my babies, toddlers, young children and now…young women. I see them for who they have become but I never forget who they were. I also, at times, see the direction in life they have yet to take.

I think it must be the loss of that futuristic vision that is so painful. The loss of their son was so intolerable because he would never marry, have a family, hold a baby, or have grandchildren. His life, and future life, were destroyed in an instant. No amount of compensation or could ever recoup or console that loss.

Whenever I run into my former comrades, I ask them about their kids. Its the rare occasion when one of their kids is in the military. Having  lived the effects of war watching young men dying in battle, we who have served tend to go the distance (consciously or unconsciously) in laying the groundwork for heading off such loss of our own children.

I lost contact with the Lieutenant years ago. But I imagine that tragic death stays with him every day. It is important in life to move ahead and press on but the reality is much more difficult. We have regrets and tragedies that befall us all.  How we live with them shapes who we become. Hopefully, as Holocaust survivor and author Viktor Frankl writes in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning“…we bring meaning to the seemingly senseless and incomprehensible occurrences in our lives which then allows us to move forward.

In the last scene of the movie “Saving Private Ryan‘, Ryan turns to his wife and asks her to tell him that he is a good man. He needed to know the person he had become was worthy of all the sacrifices that his comrades made for him.

I pray that the Lieutenant was able to find such meaning and moved on to live life as a better man.