The following is from a comment BillT left on his post about CW2 Hugh Thompson (if you haven't read that post.... do it now. I mean it!):
War takes a rasp to the veneer of civilization which covers a man and scrapes until the solid metal which forms his soul is exposed. Most soldiers are iron or steel, a few--very few--are base metal. And some are solid gold. They adhere to their values through the absolute worst that gets thrown their way and their souls survive untarnished...That's gotta be one of the most eloquent things I've read on the subject.