Face of Battle: Responding to Fear (An Addendum)

On Wednesday, I posted a blog, “Face of Battle: Responding to Fear,” which I subsequently shared with a former Special Forces soldier. He made an insightful comment that I would like to share:

“There is a big difference between fear & danger. Fear is a thought, therefore imaginary. Danger is real. Each of us has the capability to reject fear and negative thoughts. If not, [these fears] can control our actions.”

This is a good discussion to have with family members; and, if you know any combat veterans, I’m sure they would be willing to share some of their thoughts.

5 Responses to Face of Battle: Responding to Fear (An Addendum)

  1. Thank you to Chris M. for getting this addendum up on “the fly” as the restaurant world says! Thank you also to George Pittman, the author of this quote. De Oppresso Liber

  2. “A kind of Wild Excitement…”
    One illuminating report written on the topic was constructed by Thomas Keen. Private of 1st Nebraska Co.H he was present at Fort Donelson; and under fire at April 1862 Battle of Shiloh, Keen left behind over twenty letters, one of which, to his sister, is dated 11 May 1862 and contains the following: “I wondered how it ever happened that so many of us escaped at Shiloh with our lives… But, one thing is certain: we hugged the ground mighty close sometimes; and we took every advantage we could… During the battle I never once thought of danger to myself, but a kind of wild excitement seized me and my comrades, and we would rush forward with a yell…” [The entire letter found pages 142 – 3 of “I Thought it my Duty to Go,” Civil War Letters of Thomas Keen, edited by James E. Potter (2000) in Nebraska History vol.81 pages 134 – 169] and may be available at this link https://history.nebraska.gov/sites/history.nebraska.gov/files/doc/publications/NH2000MyDuty.pdf

  3. Some say courage is the absence of fear. That’s wrong. Courage is the ability to overcome inaction caused by fear and let your training kick-in enabling you to accomplish the task required.

    1. I would refine the statement as follows: “Courage is not the absence of fear but affirmative action in the presence of fear!”

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!