First what Jimmy Stewart did during WW2 is beyond commendable. He was a famous actor who could have served the military selling War Bonds etc. Instead he joined the Air Force and not just lead a squadron but went on more bombing runs then was required. He had the humility to not talk about his service, well limited, and in his contracts his war record could not be mentioned.
On that level he has my admiration.
Yet reading the article a question popped in my mind. He was obviously a generation who believed in “my country right or wrong” but also went the extra step by willing to serve. Essentially unlike today many not just did the talk.
Yet his adopted son died in Vietnam. He volunteered and was a marine.
Now here is the question the writer failed to ask. This is why I am writing this.
The question is at what point does patriotism become blind. In the article it was stated Stewart had suspected for a while we would get into a war with Germany. That would lead me to think he was a politically astute and read about world affairs. It was patriotism but he knew what the facts were when entering.
Now his adopted son volunteers to the Marine’s and fights in Vietnam and dies there. Did Stewart’s belief become blindness. He knew the facts of the world prior to going to WW2. He also more then likely believed like many of his generation did “my country right or wrong” yet he did not go in blindly.
Could he have passed along this idea of “my country right or wrong” to his adopted son. Thus to his death. Where “my country right or wrong” becomes “damned the facts” and it becomes blind following.
So the question is did a blind “my country right or wrong” that Stewart may have developed post WW2 get instilled with his son thus leading to his death.
Stewart was a widely known person. The military could easily have let his adopted son serve stateside. With there being a chance the Vietcong of learning who his dad is there would have been a price on his head along with others in the squadron.