by Jim Fine
War is an intensely personal thing. For the individual infantryman, war seldom extends more than a few yards. Because of this narrow focus, rarely will two soldiers agree on what took place in a given battle or engagement, unless they were foxhole buddies. Much of what is recounted has to be taken with the knowledge that what you hear is not necessarily what you saw or felt at the time. What you hear is a part of the person telling his tale, part of his vision, part of his hearing, part of his thinking, his experience, yes even a part of his soul.
I came to this view reluctantly over the course of many years. I never gave it any thought until I began to attend LOVE Company reunions in 1986. Listening to a story which occurred at a place I remembered vividly, I thought, "Hell, that's not what happened there." I knew the person telling the story was truthful. I rolled this over and over in my mind. I finally realized that what I really wanted to hear was an exact account of the place as I remembered it. Complete agreement with my memories was what I wanted. That will never happen. I think of the old TV or radio show that used to commence "There are ten million stories in the city. This is one of them." The history of LOVE Company, to be a warm living history will consist of these individual accounts to a large degree. Otherwise it will be another cold account of those things written elsewhere and questioned nowhere.