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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Monday, September 5

Purple Hearts

Arizona drivers have over 65 license plates from which to choose, all different colors and designs. I would think that diversity would be a handicap for anyone trying to tell police about a car that was involved in an accident and then decided to run. I can’t really think of any reason one would need that many choices. Even the vanity plates could be given on a standard plate. But the plates I really wonder about are the POW and Purple Heart plates. I don’t know why anyone needs to announce to the driving world that he/she was a prisoner of war or a recipient of the Purple Heart. Neither condition necessarily says anything about bravery in battle. One could be a hero before or after becoming a prisoner, one could be a hero and wounded in action. Or one could be a captured coward; one could cut a hand opening a can of C-rations or “accidentally” shoot himself/herself in the foot and receive the same Purple Heart as the one given to the hero. Stephen Crane wrote a novel discussing the very nature of courage in battle, The Red Badge of Courage, suggesting that any wound might or might not be a sign of bravery. Henry Fleming, the young Union soldier, beat a hasty retreat from his first encounter with the enemy and was later struck in the head by a fellow runner, receiving his “red badge.” And would Henry Fleming then buy a Purple Heart car license? Probably. He would remind me of all the blowhards I’ve encountered in one American Legion or VFW, who sit around nursing a drink as they relive fantasy adventures in one American war or another.

Maybe we should have both a Purple Heart and a Yellow Heart to distinguish between heroic and non-heroic wounds.

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