Yeah yeah, we’re not a political news site, but we at Comics Beat strongly feel like you’ll be interested in hearing this. During last night’s first Presidential Democratic Primary Debate on CNN, party front runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off against a couple of underdogs including former Virginia senator Jim Webb. When moderator Anderson Cooper asked the candidates who their biggest political enemy was, everyone’s responses were pretty canned. Everyone’s, that is, except for senator Webb’s.
Political enemy: Chafee: Coal lobby O’Malley: The NRA Clinton: Basically everyone Sanders: Wall St & Big Pharma Webb: Enemy grenade-thrower
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 14, 2015
In his words:
I’d have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he’s not around right now to…talk to…
Webb’s delivery was less than stellar, so despite coming out of left field with his answer, Webb only received scattered, and seemingly uncomfortable, chuckles. Indeed, making a joke out of the horrors of war on the national stage did not reflect well upon Webb, but the experiential source of his wisecrack is actually pretty crazy:
According to Military Times, during the Vietnam War:
On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb’s platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.
Talk about super soldiers…