Seeing Captain Castro

Jay Nordlinger leads off his NRO Impromptus column this morning with a few observations over which we should pause:

Lately, I’ve had occasion to think about what is cool and what is not. And by “cool” I mean admired, thought groovy, especially by the young. And do you know what is cool — or rather, who is cool? The late-night-comedy people. I don’t mean the Jay Leno types, I mean the Jon Stewart types — the comedians-cum-pundits. The cynics, the sneerers, the sideline jeerers.

That type of journalist is cool too, for some reason. (The New Republic and Vanity Fair are two publications that specialize in such people.)

Anyway, here’s my question: Why is Capt. Ivan Castro not cool?

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — When Capt. Ivan Castro joined the Army, he set goals: to jump out of planes, kick in doors and lead soldiers into combat. He achieved them all. Then the mortar round landed five feet away, blasting away his sight.

“Once you’re blind, you have to set new goals,” Castro said. [Is that the most strangely matter-of-fact statement you’ve ever heard?]

He set them higher.

Not content with just staying in the Army, he is the only blind officer serving in the Special Forces — the small, elite units famed for dropping behind enemy lines on combat missions.

The rest of the story is here. I ask again: Why isn’t Ivan Castro a twentieth as admired as — not to single him out, but . . . — Jon Stewart? How did the whole country become Lenny Bruce-ified?

There is a lot right with America, sports fans, but — as I say repeatedly in this column — a lot wrong, too. And what’s wrong is not necessarily what Ralph Nader and Michelle Obama think is wrong . . .

The AP story runs with the photo of Captain Castro that is posted here.

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