When you have suffered a major setback, experienced betrayal or loss, what have you found brought you some relief? Did the ear of a friend help? Someone listening, not trying to solve your problem, but showing in their eyes that they care. They hear, and they care.
One of the characters in The Last Jump, Major Frank West, is having lunch with J.P. Kilroy in Washington, D.C. in 1997. Frank was a World War II paratrooper veteran who had just visited the Wall and was complaining about the lack of patriotism in the country while explaining why America was more united during World War II. He ended his rant on page 229 by saying, "It wasn’t always all perfect but we didn’t have any ‘Hanoi Jane’. Hell, even Hollywood was on our side back then.”
(After visiting the former England Air Force Base July 2011, I decided to share this essay I wrote for the July 16, 1992 Air Force Times.)