Such also are the virtues of the soldier. He too will know the value of routine, which is a part of discipline, for he must respond as by instinct to a sudden call. He must be self-reliant. The strength and endurance of the farmer serve the soldier; his practical skill helps him to become what the Roman soldier must be, a builder and a digger of ditches and maker of roads and ramparts. He lays out a camp or a fortification as well as he lays out a plot or a system of drains. He can live on the land, for that is what he has done all his life. He too knows the incalculable element which may upset the best of dispositions. He is conscious of unseen forces, and he attributes ‘luck’ to a successful general whom some power–destiny or fortune–uses as an instrument. He gives his loyalty to persons and to places and to friends. If he becomes politically violent, he will be violent to secure, when the wars over, land to till and a farm to live in; and still greater loyalty rewards the general who champions his cause. He has seen many men and many places, and with due caution will imitate what he has seen to work; but for him ‘that corner of the earth smiles above all others’, his home and native fields, and he will not wish to see them changed.
R.H. Barrow, The Romans (Baltimore: Pelican Books 1964), 11-12.
On this day in 1984 Bob Matthews was killed while fighting "…an army of maggots and faggots and reds, race traitors and cowards and jackals, and other kinds of feds". He is one of my heroes and I remember his death with sadness, but also hope, as he was a great example to us all. "You were baptized in flames, you died to defend, in the fire that claimed you, clutching faith ’till the end".