More than one-half century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with a plea for unity and an end to racism in the United States. He dreamt of a country in which all people were judged by the content of the character and not the color of their skin.
As an infantry platoon leader amidst 485 days of fierce fighting on the Afghan-Pakistan border during the War in Afghanistan, my men and I lived that aspiration. Eighty-five percent of my “Outlaw Platoon” earned Purple Hearts for wounds received in combat from those determined to kill us. But we stuck together and eliminated 350 enemy combatants on our way to becoming one of the most celebrated platoons since September 11.
Looking back now at those life-or-death moments in combat, the last thing on my mind was the skin color of the people fighting alongside me. The only thing that mattered was knowing I