- The Washington Times - Friday, June 23, 2006

Nobles: Staff Sgt. Michael Caldwell, for exhibiting the uncommon heroism common to the American GI.

File this one under “Where Do We Find Such Men?” Sgt. Caldwell, a scout with the 4th Infantry Division, was on patrol with his unit when they came under intense fire in the town of Rajab in southern Iraq. Having surprised the insurgents who were planning an attack on a nearby checkpoint, Sgt. Caldwell’s unit found itself in the middle of a road in dangerous crossfire. While ordering his men to engage the insurgents, Sgt. Caldwell took two hits in both forearms but continued to fight.

Afterward, he was evacuated to Forward Operating Base Falcon to undergo emergency treatment. He was then transported to a hospital in Baghdad, where he was visited by his battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Love, and several men from his unit. Talking to his commander, Sgt. Caldwell said, “Sir, I was supposed to re-enlist today. I want to re-enlist before I leave.”

Doctors were already prepping Sgt. Caldwell to be sent to Germany. They held off while members of his unit readied the paperwork. Unable to lift his arm, 1st Sgt. David Yost had to sign his re-enlistment papers for Sgt. Caldwell. Then, with his platoon standing at attention, from his hospital bed Sgt. Caldwell took the oath of re-enlistment. He was later sent to Germany and then returned to the United States for further treatment.

As it has been said, “good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

Here’s to one of those “rough men,” Staff Sgt. Michael Caldwell, this week’s Noble.

Knaves: The Dixie Chicks, who still don’t understand why they’re allowed “to sleep peaceably in their beds at night.”

Lead singer Natalie Maines actually outdid her 2003 embarrassment when she told a London audience that she was ashamed the president was from her home state of Texas.

In an interview with the London Telegraph, the head Chick waxed philosophical: “The entire country may disagree with me,” she said, “but I don’t understand the necessity for patriotism. Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country … I don’t see why people care about patriotism.”

Some people look at America and the opportunities it’s given them and say, “I want to re-enlist before I leave.” Others, like Miss Maines, look at America, which has given her more fame and fortune than most Americans will ever see and ask, “So what?”

Because Sgt. Caldwell is still willing to take a bullet even for them, the Dixie Chicks are the Knaves of the week.

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