“No, the jungle wasn’t evil. It was indifferent. So, too, was the world. Evil, then, must be the negation of something man had added to the world. Ultimately, it was caring about something that made the world liable to evil. Caring. And then the caring gets torn asunder. Everybody dies, but not everybody cares. It occurred to Mellas that he could create the possibility of good or evil through caring. He could nullify the indifferent world. But in so doing he opened himself up to the pain of watching it get blown away.” -Karl Malantes, Matterhorn
Karl Malantes was a senior at Yale and awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. Instead of going to Oxford–which the military would allow–he enlisted in active military duty and went to Vietnam. In the phenomenal Ken Burns doc, “The Vietnam War,” he talks about his decision. While personally against the war, Malantes felt an overriding calling to help other soldiers through his service.
He survived and years later he set out to write a novel chronicling his experience.
It took him thirty years.
The result…“Matterhorn”, one of the greatest war novels ever written. I urge you to read it. You’ll forever be altered.
Freedom isn’t free. And regardless of your feelings on war, our soldiers are heroes and we can’t say thank you enough.
Matterhorn will remind you why it’s important to do so. Not just today. But every day.
Thank you Karl Malantes.
Thank you Dad.
Thank you to all the other heroes out there.